Mum-to-be Ulrika Jonsson has called for a Mother’s Charter to give pregnant women better NHS care.

The former weathergirl, currently expecting her fourth child, has criticised maternity services claiming that not enough is done for expectant mothers.

She said: “Unfortunately, maternity services have become the poor relation of the health service.

“I have campaigned for better care for mothers-to-be, but I’ve heard some truly terrifying stories of women being denied pain relief through 28-hour labours, being forced to leave hospital far too soon after birth, some even requiring counselling after botched births.”

Speaking on BBC2’s Daily Politics programme, she went on: “It’s so shocking, in one of the richest nations on earth we seem to put so little value on nurturing mothers and children.”

Ulrika, who had all her children delivered in NHS hospitals, said her personal experiences had been ‘variable’ but that her care during her current pregnancy had been very good.

But she said many women had told her they rarely met the same midwife twice and the relationship between mother and carer was not developed.

“Too many hospitals are failing to provide one-to-one care from a named midwife and mothers are being left terrified and alone during labour,” she said.

She added that the average maternity unit had 31 midwives per 1,000 births, with medical guidelines suggesting there should be 36 per every 1,000.