ABOUT CRISTY

My journey to here:

I began my career as an educator and loved it from the beginning.  I spent 9 years working as a Secondary Teacher at Kurnai College.  During this time I had many roles including a classroom teacher, year level coordinator, leading teaching and welfare coordinator. It was such a privilege to not only educate young people but also to care and support their emotional and mental health through listening to their needs.   After giving birth to my first child I decided that I would have a career change and become a stay at home mum until my children went off to school. I am very honoured to be the mother of 2 wonderful daughters, Willow and Lottie. 

It was during this time my passion for everything birth and breastfeeding was born.  Being a true educator my thirst for learning and knowledge continued, so I invested a great deal of time expanding my knowledge in these areas (of course, this was between breastfeeding and caring for little people).  When I came out of the intitial haze of mothering babies, I decided to take my knowledge further and study childbirth education with Childbirth International .  My motivation for pursuing this was greatly due to my own experience of giving birth in Gippsland and finding it very difficult to source support, choice and information.  At the time my husband and I wanted to learn more about the birthing process and had to travel to Melbourne to attend a 2 day workshop.  I felt like there was a massive gap in Gippsland and this was something I wanted to change.    

In the meantime I was volunteering to support breastfeeding mums and my passion for this was growing. I volunteered for the RUBY Program (a pilot program by Latrobe University and endorsed by ABA), which involved supporting first time mothers with breastfeeding from the birth of their baby until 6 months of age.  I did this for the duration of the 3 year program and often had several mother's at once.  I joined ABA when I had my first child and have been an active member of our local group.  This included attending LRH's antenatal breastfeeding class for a demonstration feed and was invited back for the next 3 years to talk about my experience of breastfeeding and support in the community.   This led me to join the group ‘Gippsland Breastfeeding Support Network' which I am now the facilitator and organise our meetings and topics of discussion.  This is a group of people that work with breastfeeding mothers and come together to learn how best to help breastfeeding mother’s in our community through sharing experiences, knowledge and discussing current evidence based information.   After completing my dipoloma in Childbirth Education I felt it was the right time to study breastfeeding counselling and create my own business focused on supporting mothers and families.  


I am very excited about where 'Empowering Birth and Breastfeeding'  is heading.  Everytime I have the opportunity to  educate, nurture and support a mother, couple or family I feel completely honoured that they have let me be part of their journey.  


I look forward to working with you


Cristy  x   

  

Cristy Russell

​Photo courtesy of Kristy Van Eck from Kristy Van Eck Photography