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Midwife on Big Island

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi - I have been reading this forum for some time, but never posted. I need help now ;-)

I remember reading on an old thread about midwives on Big Island, but can't find it anymore. So here goes again: We just moved to the Hilo side of Big Island, we are actually about 40 minutes from Hilo, in Puna Beach Palisades or Kalapana. I am 10 weeks pregnant and need to find a midwife. I had my first daughter when we were living in Seattle, back then with a midwife in a free standing birth center, which was really cool. Are there any free standing birth centers on the hilo sides or, if not, does anybody have recommendations for good midwives here that would go with a home birth or be with me at the hospital if needed?

Which leads me to the next question: I only heard bad things about Hilo hospital, but that seems to be my only option as a back up plan in case I can't do birth center or home birth at the last minute.

I would appreciate any inpute. Mahalo.
post #2 of 11
There is a birth center in Waimea, but I can't remember if it is freestanding or not. I think that it is not. I'm pretty sure it's part of the hospital, however I have heard FANTASTIC things about it. From all I've heard, it is a very good one. It's a 2-3 hour drive, however, and to me that just seems insane, but the mamas who really want a birth center drive all that way.

I had two midwives who were very amazing and wonderful. I'm not sure if they are still working together. Their names are Aubrey (Jones) and Malu. I think Aubrey may have ended up getting a job at Hilo Hospital, in which case she is no longer allowed to do births, but you can contact Malu. She also does massage and craniosacral therapy for her clients.

I *think* this is her number, but I'm not 100% sure if she's changed it or not.

Martha (Malu) Landt
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you!

Thanks so much for your reply! Did you have a home birth with them? I am reluctant since I find it so much more comfortable to go somewhere else, and I won't have to clean anything. On the other side, it's probably best to just stay home and be able to relax without going anywhere. Also, I fear hospitals, so that wouldn't be an option. I live in Kalapana, so really far. Not sure how a midwife would see that, since the next hospital would be 40 minutes out.

I found Martha on a website for doulas, and will call her.

thanks again,
post #4 of 11
I had an unassisted birth at home, but I wanted midwives for my prenatal care as this was my first baby and I did not know much about pregnancy or what to expect. They were both really incredible and extremely positive of my decision to UC. They have two different personality types. Aubrey is more medical minded so she likes to take over the tests and things. Malu is more into what I'd call spiritual midwifery. She's very...ah...I guess you'd call it "hippie dippie" But in a really good way. Can't knock it if you're a hippie too, can you? She's a very spiritual person but so warm and kind and full of love. She has more love in her than anyone you will ever meet and she is extremely enthusiastic about what she does which is wonderful.

They were not legally licensed at the time. Aubrey was a CNM whose certification had lapsed and she had not renewed and Malu was working as a lay midwife. Both of them are much older women with several children each and many many years of experience. Because they did not have certification, they could not ask for payment, so they were accepting "donations" of whatever mothers could afford and also barter. I had nothing at all at the time, but they wanted to see me anyway, so they did it for free. It was a really wonderful and big of them to do that for me and I owe them a huge debt someday.

They did everything any other midwife can do, but they also provided other services. They came to my house once a month or so. Here's some of the services they did for me:

-let you make pretty much all your own decisions
-help you locate baby items if you need them
-medical testing, urine tests, etc.
-pregnancy massage
-craniosacral therapy (I developed some back pain in my third trimester and this helped)
-teach you how to care for a new baby
-checked my posture and taught me how to sit properly
-did some pregnancy yoga with me and taught me positions that would help
-brought me supplies that I would need (calendula cream, peri bottle, witch hazel, etc.)
-one thing that was really great was after my second trimester when they would visit, Malu would rub my feet while Aubrey discussed things with me
-supply birthing supplies (birthing ball, tub, etc.)
-teach you how to do infant Heimlich and CPR
-teach you how to breastfeed (plus they come by for followups after the birth)
-postnatal checkups of you and baby

I had my UC and called to let them know I was in labor and then called again once the baby was born. It was late at night, so they came by the next morning to check us out. They did a full newborn exam and told me what to do to cure my daughter's jaundice. They checked to make sure we were breastfeeding properly and they also gave me stitches for a bad 2nd degree tear that I had gotten.

All in all, they were wonderful, plus Malu is also a trained doula, so she likes to give a lot of support both physically and emotionally.

Good luck
post #5 of 11
Oh, and the cleanup was nothing at all. It's especially easy if you have hard floors.

I had two towels folded up on the floor and I just squatted on them and gave birth. When I was done, my husband just picked the whole thing up by the corners, dropped it in the washing machine and hit "rinse." Easy peasey

I just rinsed off in the shower and then sat on a great big pad in the bed with the baby. Cleanup was nothing. I imagine it might be difficult if you have carpet and just spew blood everywhere, but I was surprised how easy it was to clean up.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for sharing your experience! That sounds like a lovely birth story all in all. I talked to Malu the other day and she seems very relaxed and sweet. I guess we will meet next week. I have a feeling we will connect very well.

The thing about homebirth is probably not so much about cleaning but about being scared of the whole concept. It seems almost as if there was more responsibility to it, if you do in your own home ;-) That doesn't make sense at all, but that's just me. I definitely admire you for being that brave and having your first baby all alone. Do you live close to a hospital or did you just not think about back up plans and all that negative stuff? I guess my head tells me there is nothing safer than a UC, but I'm scared of problems coming up and of not being cool enough to handle them at that moment. Maybe next baby!

So are you still in the Puna area? And how old is your baby now? I'm asking because my little daughter turned 4 last November and we are always looking for playdates, of course ;-)
post #7 of 11
I had a lot of personal reasons for wanting a UC. We are not very close to the hospital - about 30 minutes away, but I did spend 8 years studying birth and learning how to handle possible emergencies. They are rare, but that was what I had for backup. I just researched how to handle any situation.

I also had the midwives on standby in case of emergency. I called them before the birth so they would know to stay in town and they did. They were about ten minutes away.

I don't know about other women, but I was surprisingly rational at my birth. It was like everything was going in super slow motion and I was totally clear-seeing and could rationalize situations.

For example, my baby had her cord around her neck and it was tight, so she got stuck coming out. She wasn't being strangled, but the short cord was up around her neck and that made it so short that she couldn't come out past her armpits. My body pushing on her must have pulled the placenta off a bit and I bled a lot. I lost about four cups of blood and because of it, lost my hearing for a couple of minutes. I wasn't scared at all. It was like everything I had to do just came to me in a little mental checklist or something. I ate a piece of the placenta and the bleeding stopped immediately. I remember thinking how very strange it was that I was not worried at all. I just did what had to be done.

But UC is a personal choice. Definitely not for everyone. I want a UC for my next, but I may not do so if I feel unsafe for any reason.

Good luck with Malu I hope it works out. She's a sweet lady. Perhaps a bit overenthusiastic at times, but I adore her.
post #8 of 11

Another Puna midwife

Melekai Matson, CNM, who does home births in Puna. 808-965-5664.
post #9 of 11
Both of my babies were born at home. I had a great experience and was very happy with my midwives. I was living in the North Kohala area and they traveled over 2 hours to be there for me.

With my ds I went with Roxanne. With my dd I used Nina. Nina actually was there when my ds was born because she was in the area and it was nice having another midwife there for extra help and gave Roxanne a break too - I had a very long birth.

Here is a link with numbers for Big Island Midwives: http://www.midwiveshawaii.com/hawaii.htm
post #10 of 11
I live in Hilo and gave birth a couple months ago at the birth center in Waimea. It is in the hospital, but it is absolutely wonderful. They were totally hands-off, respectful of our decisions, and completely baby-friendly. It was so worth the drive. If you don't want a home birth for whatever reason, I highly recommend the Waimea Women's Center/North Hawaii Community Hospital.
post #11 of 11

I am a midwife in Kailua.  My name is Amy Kirbow and I am a CPM (Certified Professional Midwife).  If you are not in my area you can always let me know where you are and I can tell you others that may be near you. :)  As someone else mentioned, the Midwives Alliance of Hawaii has many of us listed.

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