Last year, almost 4,000 women in England gave birth in a location other than a designated labour bed in a hospital.
Hospitals also gave examples of babies being born in midwife offices, lifts, toilets and a caravan. Some of these births will have been genuine emergencies and unavoidable, but many are because services are overstretched.
"New mothers should not be being put through the trauma of having to give birth in such inappropriate places", Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said. "It is extremely distressing for them and their families to be denied a labour bed because their maternity unit is full".
Lansley added that the fact that mothers are getting this sort of sub-standard treatment despite Gordon Brown’s tripling of spending on the NHS reflects the incredible waste of resources in recent years.
He also pledged that under a Conservative Government would make sure every woman who wants a single hospital room will get one, and also that it would make sure the money follows the patient "so that if more women are giving birth then more money is available".