Mandy is a midwife in our American Fork office! Earning her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing at Weber State University, she continued on to earn her Master’s in Nursing at the Frontier School of Midwifery & Family Nursing. She has been a Registered Nurse since 2003 and a practicing Certified Nurse Midwife since 2015. She is married with 4 children who all love to travel, hike and adventure together. Mandy absolutely loves her career in midwifery and specifically loves educating women on their options and helping those who need extra support during their pregnancy or postpartum care.
Why did you choose to become a midwife?
I was a labor and deliver nurse for about 8 years. During nursing school, I was really interested in the OB classes. At that time you couldn’t specialize and they wanted you to start in medical surgery, which is general nursing in the hospital. Medical surgery was great and I worked there for 5 years and kind of forgot about OB. Then I was offered to work in float pool, which is like OB, but postpartum only. While working postpartum, I was exposed to labor and delivery and remembered how much I liked that. In 2008 I started doing labor and delivery. After my fourth baby in 2010 I went back to school to get my Master’s degree to become a midwife while also working in L&D. I’ve been a midwife since 2015 and did my residency with this midwife group. I love it!
Being a labor and deliver nurse was awesome too and I enjoyed bonding with patients so well, even though it was for only 12 hours. I remember all of my nurses with my four babies and that bedside care was something I loved. As a midwife you get that plus more because you get to know them during their pregnancy and after too. Now many of patients are coming back and delivering their second or third baby with me. The continuity between knowing their little ones, when they come back to see you, knowing their history from one baby to the next and how their birth went is cool! I feel like I can do more for women because I can educate them throughout their pregnancy so they know their options during labor. I feel like I can empower them.
I’m glad I went back to school! I love being a nurse and still know many of the nurses at the American Fork Hospital. It’s fun to be with them and know where everything is. Being a midwife is the joy of nurse, but more rewarding because you get to know your patients more.
Do you remember your first experience delivering a baby?
I see a lot of birth’s where I’m so impressed with womanhood. While I can’t think of one birth specifically, but now and again, I’ll see a birth where the strength of the woman was so awesome and cool! Every time that baby comes out, we lay it on mom’s belly and that perfect child just came out of her… it’s just so impressive every time!
What do you love about Valley Women’s Health?
Kathryn delivered my last baby and she was amazing! This midwife group had just joined Valley when I graduated and I knew I wanted to be with this group. I had another offer and didn’t know a lot about Valley at the time. They had a great reputation and a great set-up.
We have a great relationship with our physicians. We can consult openly with them and they are supportive of midwifery, which is really important for a midwife. I feel supported as a midwife and even though they may not do things the way we do them, they support and honor our philosophy. I’m glad I’m here! It’s not just the OBs versus the midwives, we’re a team!
What is your favorite thing about being a CNM?
I like helping women! That is what is the most rewarding for me. I like helping women who come in with depression, during their pregnancy or postpartum. Being able to direct them to resources and give them hope again is rewarding. We can prescribe medication and often, we do. We’ll start patients on anti -depressant, give them references for therapists and handouts for self-care. Just today I saw a patient that is really depressed and has high anxiety. Helping her know there is hope and what steps to take is important. I can’t always provide all those steps, but I can give her the resources, which is what a lot of women need.
I also really enjoy working with the more vulnerable population of women—teen pregnancies, single mom’s and minorities. Every birth counts and every woman is important. I enjoy being the person that helps them feel they are valued, that their life experience are heard and their culture is respected. We are working on resources for teen pregnancies and hoping we can provide more support so they feel confident. When it comes to teen pregnancies, they are constantly hearing negative things and I always want to remind them that they are growing their baby beautifully. They want to learn so much and a lot of people don’t take the time to educate them. Other people may just tell them what to do because they are young, but they want to learn too. My special interests are definitely teen’s , single mom’s, minorities and women with depression. I want them to feel hope, have the resources they need and follow up with them so they don’t feel alone.
What do you wish all women could know?
I wish all women could know that their opinions and concerns are valued. It’s worth speaking up. I want women to know that they matter, that they are important and that we care about them, their babies and their families.
It’s also important for women to know their choices when it comes to birth. Many women are not low-risk and want a low intervention birth. Sometimes that doesn’t mesh. I had a patient the other day who came into labor and deliver with super high blood pressure. She didn’t want an IV and it was like… shoot, this isn’t a low-risk pregnancy anymore, so things have to change. If we discuss those scenarios, choices and options through the pregnancy and talk about what she really wants, then we can all work towards that while also knowing the potential options available when circumstances change. Education is key! We are here to help you have the birth that you want while also keeping you and your baby as safe as possible.
Tell me about your family.
I am married and my husband’s name is Steve. He works at BYU and is currently working on is PHd. As a runner, he’s also currently training for a marathon. If you’re a midwife, your spouse has to be supportive and he is very supportive! We have 4 children. My oldest is my only daughter. She enjoys band and has a YouTube channel she made. All of the editing she does herself and it’s really good! My oldest son is doing track right now. He’s also learning Spanish with Duo Lingo app. He’s really fun, positive and loves being with his friends. My next son loves to play basketball and video games. He’s my gamer out of all of them! My youngest is my social butterfly. Usually at a neighbor’s house, he’s always being active and finding friends. He has a FitBit and trying to meet his goals. It’s kind of cool because I had two of my babies with an obstetrician and my other two with a midwife. I loved all four experiences.
What are your hobbies or favorite things to do?
Our family likes to do little trips. We also enjoy hiking. The Grand Canyon, Escalante and Zion’s are a few places we’ve recently been. We also just went to Disneyland and have a trip planned to Florida in September for my birthday. Sometimes I work about 60 hours a week with our call, so it’s nice to have trips to look forward to and time off with my family.
My husband and I are also working on our 100 List that was in the BYU Magazine. On my list is finishing a patchwork quilt, so I’m working on that right now. I’m also trying to learn Spanish on Duo Lingo. That’s a minority we see a lot here in the clinic and I feel like if I knew the language better, there would be less of a barrier for me. Patients who speak mostly Spanish deserve as much education and communication as our English speaking patients, but I can’t deliver it as well. We do have translator’s on our iPads, but it would be nice it the conversation could be more spontaneous. It’ll probably take me a long time to be conversations with medical language, but I’m working on that! My husband’s list is mostly travel, scuba diving and climbing mountains.Our lists are quite different! We’ll find some that we can do together because we love each other.
What is your favorite treat?
Anything milk chocolate or chips and salsa. I love Milagro’s green salsa right now!
What is your favorite restaurant?
Mexican food! My favorite restaurant right now is Milagro’s in Orem.
Is there something that patients don’t know about you?
I was born in Kentucky and raised in Indiana and moved to Utah when I was 19 to go to Southern Utah University in Cedar City.
Learn more about Mandy Christensen