PALE KEIKI SERVICES
We are proud to be able to offer midwifery services rooted in an Indigenous foundation in addition to other related support services.
Kalauokekahuli Board Member Leilani Digmon is currently training under Niitsitapi Certified Professional Midwife Connie Perkins to become the first fully certified Native Hawaiian pale keiki in Hawaiʻi. Check out their bios below.
Interested in midwifery services?
KA HĀNAU EA
HOME BIRTH ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
In efforts to improve maternal and infant outcomes for Native Hawaiians and to make the safe and culturally-rooted option of home birth more accessible, we are excited to implement Ka Hānau Ea Home Birth Assistance Program.
Through this program, generously funded by Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, Inc., we are offsetting the cost of midwifery services for 12 Native Hawaiian women in Hawaiʻi by $1,500 each.
Services will be provided by an all-Indigenous birthing team that includes: Connie Perkins, CPM (Niitsitapi); Leilani Digmon, Haumāna Pale Keiki (Kanaka Maoli); and a Kalauokekahuli Koʻokua.
As part of the program, midwifery services include prenatal appointments, on-call availability from 37 weeks until birth, the birth itself and all supplies needed, and six postpartum home visits over six weeks.
We will be holding informational sessions to learn more about the birthing team, home birth, and program services. Please check our Instagram for the most up-to-date information.
MEET THE TEAM
HAUMĀNA PALE KEIKI
Aloha mai e ka mea heluhelu mai ka lā hiki i Haʻehaʻe a ka lā kau i Lehua, aloha nō. ‘O wau nō ʻo Leilani Digmon, a i Lahaina ma ka mokupuni ʻo Maui wau e noho ai me kuʻu kāne, ‘o Kapali Keahi, a me kā māua mau keiki. Greetings readers from the rising sun in Haehae until the setting sun in Lehua, greetings indeed. My name is Leilani and I live in Lahaina on the island of Maui with my husband Kapali Keahi and our children. I am a 39 year old Kanaka Maoli birth worker (student midwife, haumana pale keiki, doula, koʻokua, childbirth educator, Indigenous Lactation Counselor), cultural practitioner, and homeschool mother of an 11 year old, 9 year old, and 7 year old.
Kanaka Maoli traditions and beliefs surrounding childbirth and childrearing is my passion. This passion began during my Hawaiian language and Hawaiian studies undergraduate education at UH Mānoa and was fueled by fellow Kanaka Maoli friends who were reclaiming practices into their wā hāpai and wā hānau (pregnancy and birth), and ignited by the three pregnancies and home births of my keiki in 2011, 2012, and 2014. During our pregnancies, births, and postpartum time, we incorporated several cultural practices and protocols. I believe so strongly these practices contributed to a healthier me and the health of our babies. They helped me feel a strong connection to my ancestors and their wisdom, which in turn made me feel safe.
While my birth experiences left me feeling fulfilled, one very obvious reality was revealed to me: the underrepresentation, and sometimes complete absence of Kanaka Maoli birth workers. I began attending home births in 2015, began midwifery trainings in 2016, and enrolled in midwifery school in 2017. Currently, I am in my final stages of completing midwifery school and hope to become a licensed midwife in 2023. I have partnered with Indigenous Midwife Connie Perkins (CPM, LM, BSM), and together we are starting a midwifery practice this summer serving the island of Maui as the newly formed Midwifery Services for Kalauokekahuli. Our practice will center Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander pregnancies with place-based and culturally appropriate care and uphold the vision and mission of Kalauokekahuli. I cannot tell you how excited I am to serve our community and to help foster the reclamation of Kanaka Maoli birth practices. E ola nō ka ‘ike hānau Hawaiʻi!
Contact Leilani directly at email@example.com.
CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL MIDWIFE
Connie Perkins, she/her, is a midwife, land activist, mother and herbalist specializing in full spectrum reproductive care. She carries indigenous (Niitsitapi) and settler ancestry and spent her childhood split between coastal Virginia and the Menominee Indian Reservation in Northern Wisconsin. Connie worked as a doula for several years in central Michigan before beginning clinical midwifery training in a busy rural practice. In 2012 she completed her training and began Red Cedar Birth. In 2017 she graduated Magna Cumme Laude with a Bachelors Science of Midwifery from Midwives College of Utah, where she was adjunct faculty for several years. Connie served several terms as the Vice President of the Michigan Midwives Association as well as sitting on the inaugural State Licensing Board and several other advisory committees both state and nationwide. Connie is passionate about the student experience and the future of midwifery education, especially the accessibility of midwifery education.
KOʻOKUA & HAUMĀNA PALE KEIKI
Mālia Kaupe is a wahine ʻōiwi, born and raised in Wailuku, Maui. She is a wife and homeschooling mother of two. She has personal experience with both hospital and home birth. She is passionate about all things birth and babies. Mālia is a full time koʻokua (doula) as well as a midwife’s assistant, childbirth educator, Indigenous breastfeeding counselor and haumāna pale keiki (student midwife). She is very proud of her involvement with Kalauokekahuli as a co-founder, Executive Director and koʻokua. Mālia has had the privilege of serving over 120 families in her 6 years of birth work here in Hawaiʻi and is so excited to continue to serve!