Practitioner Profile | Christina McKay

"Outside of this, it really does take a village to raise a child and we were never meant to do this alone so outsourcing help is so necessary to avoid postpartum depletion."

Why did you start your practice ? / What drew you to do this work?
I'll be the first to admit that I was a little cocky and completely naive going into my 1st birth. I loved the idea of birth, I wasn't scared of it, I was actually excited to birth my baby. I did the hospital birthing course and honestly thought, 'I got this!' I was happy to 'go with the flow' and take the lead of those in the know. However when the time came, I was completely unprepared and overwhelmed by the sensations in my body. Neither my husband or I felt confident to advocate for our wishes and the whole birth was incredibly disempowering. I felt unheard, unsafe and out of control. This led to birth trauma, PTSD and anxiety post birth. Once I saw the incredible documentary Birth Time, I realised that 1 in 3 women in Australia reported their births as traumatic and I decided to start asking anyone that had a positive birthing experience what they had done to prepare for their births  - the overwhelming response was Hypnobirthing. So I thought if I can teach it to other women and their birth partners, I'll be helping reduce birth trauma and ultimately use all of the tools for my second birth, which I did. It was an incredible birth, empowering, healing and so positive. 
What do enjoy the most about your work?
I LOVE teaching this course. I love seeing the transformation within parents, their outlook on birth changes from anticipation or fear to excitement. Birthing mothers surrendering to their bodies, birth partners knowing exactly how they can help and support the birthing mothers, they work as a team and that is really magic to see. Obviously I love hearing about the births and seeing the hypnobubs. Being a part of their journey is a privilege I take really seriously. 
What is the most memorable thing you can tell someone about your job?
It's really not about having a natural unmedicated birth, it's about having the birth YOU want and helping you calmly navigate any change in circumstances that might come your way. Whilst there are certain things we can control, sometimes there are things we can't but that doesn't mean the birth can't be empowering, beautiful and positive. If a mumma really wants an unmedicated vaginal birth but then has to have a caesarian section for medical reasons, there are so many things she can do to take back her power. This could include delayed cord clamping, immediate skin to skin, antenatal expressing, vaginal seeding, having her music or hypnobirthing soundtracks played in theatre, photography of the birth, a placenta tour or maybe even a maternal assisted delivery. This is currently not widely offered but if you like the sound of it, ask the question or look into an OB that can support your wishes. You hold so much power, so take the reins and go for it. 
Based on your area of expertise, what can you share with our followers around postpartum care?
I'm a big believer that birth partners/ dads really need to understand what a woman's body goes through during pregnancy and birth. We go through this in the course and it's so powerful to see birth partners step up and support the birthing mother. I think it's a great step in the right direction for a supported postpartum period and opens the conversation to areas that you might not usually talk about (fears, boundaries, expectations, bonding etc.) and this is so important as women navigate the journey into matrescence. 
Outside of this, it really does take a village to raise a child and we were never meant to do this alone so outsourcing help is so necessary to avoid postpartum depletion. It could be friends or family starting a meal train for the birthing family, friends helping with school drop offs for older kids or taking the family dog for a walk. If you're in the privileged position to be able to outsource professional help then you could book a postpartum doula, hire a cleaner, book a Lactation Consultant or have meals delivered.  You're in a new season of life so embrace and build your village.

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