Reggio Emilia, January 7 - A couple in Italy are planning to sue health services after their baby boy was unexpectedly born without legs on Christmas Day. The boy's mother, 34, and father say that during the pregnancy no medical specialist spotted any problem and no sign of malformation showed up on medical scans. Their lawyers have sent letters to a private doctor in Parma who followed the pregnancy and other health and hospital authorities, informing them of the legal action. They are aiming to check over documentation and the sequence of checks to see where responsibility should lie. "It's an ordeal psychologically, for all the family," said lawyer Alessandro Falzoni. Italy's maternity care has come under the spotlight recently in the wake of the deaths of five women in childbirth in seven days - four of them in hospitals, one of them in a home birth. Gynaecologist associations have criticised the government for allowing the country's maternity wards to become chronically understaffed, while recognising that Italy still has one of the lowest maternal childbirth mortality rates in the West.