More than 3,000 midwives and health visitors are needed to fulfil Labour's pledge that every pregnant woman should be supported by the same midwife, according to the Liberal Democrats.
Shadow health secretary Norman Lamb said the party would recruit that number of extra staff to make up the current shortfall and allow women to choose where they wish to give birth.
During the party's annual conference in Bournemouth, Mr Lamb said: "While births continue to rise at a rapid rate, the number of midwives has stalled. This means that many women are not being given a choice about where they give birth or the support they need at home."
The party's health spokesman also promised the Liberal Democrats could save £500 million a year by cutting spending on NHS quangos and imposing a limit on the salaries of health service managers.