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Letter: Happy events

Sir: As the mother of two boys neither of whom would have survived had they been born at home, I would like to utter a rare cry of support for the medical staff in maternity units of hospitals.

Our boys were born in two different London hospitals. In neither cases was I "encouraged to lie down". A nurse showed me how to tuck my baby into bed with me and a midwife popped my homeopathic remedies into my mouth for me. A water birth was lined up and after my babies were born I was given a class in baby massage.

When discussing the option of a home birth with my GP before the delivery of my first baby we had a rational debate and local midwives told me how much they enjoyed being involved with home deliveries. From my own experience of childbirth I would never dream of having a baby anywhere other than in the biggest, most up-to-date, modern hospital I can find.

It is not just Third World mothers like Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (Comment, 26 August) who can be grateful to the medical profession for making childbirth risk-free. National Childbirth Trust members like me think that they do a pretty good job too.

"Natural" childbirth must be great for the lucky few whose bodies can cope with it, but evolution has played a nasty trick on most of us.


London SW12