Tauranga midwives say they are having to turn away clients amid a nationwide midwife shortage.

But the city's dedicated birthing facility says it – and its midwifery staff – is being underused, with 2000 beds a year lying empty.

Midwife numbers have risen in Tauranga but local experts say it's still not enough for the city's booming population.

For three years, Ruby Meiklejohn has been delivering babies in the Tauranga area and while she is adamant she loves the job she said, without a doubt, midwives were being stretched.

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"There are simply not enough LMC (lead maternity carer) midwives and

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