A bitter pill(ow) to swallow...

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Nightie, slippers, toiletries, breast pads and dressing gown... check.

Your hospital bag has been packed for weeks.

So has the baby bag; it’s bulging with newborn-sized white baby-grows and vests, scratch-mits that look like they wouldn’t fit a kitten, nappies and those lemon cardies your auntie Joan knitted three months back.

But once the contractions start, dear, whip your pillow off the bed before you waddle out of the front door.

Sheffield’s maternity hospital has got a pillow shortage and women in labour, as Abourthorne 31-year-old Jennifer Dunstan-Furniss discovered, are being urged to bring their own.

What are things coming to when the NHS budget is so depleted it can’t run to more pillows?

Sheffield’s Jessop Wing seem to be blaming it on the patients, though. They say pillows just disappear.

What’s happening to them? Are new mums smuggling them up their suddenly-very-roomy jumpers and taking them home? They must be desperate; a hospital pillow is far from Hilton standard.

Or is the supply of gas and air now running so low, women at the last push are biting through their pillows in desperation?

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