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Woman says doctors should have separate waiting rooms for those grieving pregnancy loss

A woman has called for hospitals to have separate waiting rooms for patients experiencing pregnancy loss.

In a TikTok video, India Batson candidly spoke about how she wished there were special waiting rooms for people like her who have suffered pregnancy loss. She reflected on her experience at a recent Ob-Gyn doctor appointment, in which she noted how heart-wrenching it was to be surrounded by pregnant women so soon after having a miscarriage.

“Sitting in that waiting room next to tons of pregnant women while you wait to go back just to get bloodwork to see if your HCG [level] is back to zero sucks, like it absolutely sucks,” Batson said in the video. “There is no other way to phrase it.”

She continued: “Both times, I felt that there were ways that we could improve … an already horrific experience by adding trauma-informed care to these Ob-Gyn offices after women learn that they’ve lost their baby and are going through the grieving process and just being more compassionate and empathetic to these women.”

“I don’t find placing us next to each other to get blood work is the best approach that is kind and empathetic,” she added.

“I can’t speak for all women on what they would like. But it’s clear that there are ways that we can navigate this,” Batson continued. “I would love nothing more than for this horrific experience to actually lead to positive changes for the women after me who will experience miscarriage.”

While Batson noted to Good Morning America that she has heard that some Ob-Gyn offices do have ways to accommodate grieving patients, such as staggered schedules or separate waiting rooms, she hoped that her plea could lead to more comprehensive reform in the way doctors treat those with pregnancy loss.

Batson shared that she recently suffered a miscarriage this February and in the past, she has experienced back-to-back pregnancy losses, including a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. This kind of pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg implants outside of your uterus, usually in your fallopian tube. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a rupture occurs when the fallopian tube breaks, which causes severe bleeding, infection, and sometimes, death.

There are many other ways pregnancy loss can occur, including leading causes like miscarriages and stillbirth. The former is defined as the sudden loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week, with 10 to 20 per cent of pregnancies reportedly ending in miscarriage.

Meanwhile, stillbirths occur when the baby dies in the womb after the 20th week of pregnancy, and they often happen before the patient goes into labour. Stillbirths affect about one in 175 pregnancies in the US annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Doctors encourage patients experiencing pregnancy loss to seek the emotional support they need, advising that seeing a therapist or psychiatrist could provide the necessary tools to process their grief. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, joining a support group can be another way a patient can confront their complicated feelings while also finding solace among people who have gone through similar experiences.