Woman calls for separate waiting rooms for those experiencing pregnancy loss

Written by on March 21, 2024

India Baston

(NEW YORK) — A Georgia woman is calling for doctors’ offices to have separate waiting areas for expecting patients and patients who are experiencing pregnancy loss.

In a March 15 TikTok video, India Batson opened up in her car after a doctor’s office visit.

“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 part. “There is no other way to phrase it.”

The 29-year-old told ABC News’ Good Morning America she has had back-to-back pregnancy losses, including a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and more recently, in February, a miscarriage.

“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,” Batson said.

“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.

Pregnancy loss is an umbrella term that can refer to different types of losses, such as a miscarriage, the loss of a baby before the 20th week of pregnancy, or a stillbirth, the loss of a baby after the 20th week of pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in 100 pregnancies end in a stillbirth and about 24,000 babies are stillborn each year in the U.S. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also estimates that miscarriages are common and occur in about 10 of 100 known pregnancies. The true prevalence of miscarriage may in fact be higher, as some losses may occur before a woman even knows she is pregnant.

Batson told GMA that she has heard from others saying their OB-GYN offices do have separate waiting areas or staggered schedules to accommodate different types of patients. She said she hopes her sharing will inspire more compassionate care for patients overall.

“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 said. “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.”

Those who have suffered a pregnancy loss can find patient resources and support at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 

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