Heggestad’s childhood passion gives birth to a medical careerPosted on December 1, 2017

When Krystal Heggestad was a child, long before she considered becoming a midwife, she began playing a key role in the miracle of birth.

Sometimes, Krystal said all she had to do was stand back and let it happen. Other times, she would actively coax the reluctant baby out of the womb. Even as a child, though, Krystal was willing to do whatever it took to facilitate the birth of a beautiful baby pig.

That’s right. Pig.

“I lived on a farm,” Krystal explained, “so I actually delivered pigs to start with. That got me interested in caring for people, and that lead me into medicine.”

There aren’t many similarities between caring for a pregnant pig and caring for a pregnant human, but Krystal’s childhood experiences developed into the lifelong passion that drives her career to this day. She has demonstrated a willingness to expand her skillset, even studying traditional Chinese medicine as a student, and considers more than just a patient’s medical condition when providing treatment.

“I think medicine’s going that way now, with the more holistic approach to caring,” Krystal said. “It’s something that really helps me in my midwifery… Just taking all aspects of what’s going on in a person’s life and pulling that into the decision-making.”

Krystal is excited to bring her abilities to Southern Ohio Medical Center in part because of the positive comments she’d heard about the facility while working at Ohio State.

“We would get patients from SOMC, and they would always have very positive things to say about the hospital,” she said.

Since arriving in Portsmouth, she’s also been impressed by the area’s sense of community.

“It’s been amazing. Everybody’s been so helpful, and that’s nice, especially coming from larger institutions where you had to navigate on your own and try to figure things out,” Krystal said.

Living in southern Ohio also makes it possible for her to return to her roots, a bit. She expressed an interest in having a hobby farm at some point. “With goats and horses,” she added.

And maybe, if she’s still up to it, a baby pig or two.

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