Letter: Childbirth care on the cheap

Sir: Debbie Musselwhite ("If you are pregnant you're not alone", 3 September) has done pregnant or would-be pregnant readers no favours by her inaccurate statement "there are special antenatal tests such as CVS (chorionic villus sampling) and amniocentesis, which will determine whether or not your baby has any problems."

These tests provide diagnoses of relatively few, mostly rare conditions for women known to be at higher risk for having a baby with a particular abnormality. A normal test result is not a guarantee of normality. Most abnormalities are not diagnosed by these tests and by suggesting they are, she has fuelled the myth that it is possible to "order" a normal baby.

Dr PATRICIA BOYD

Oxford

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