Pregnancy is a time of great change. Not only do bodies undergo physical transformations, but minds and emotions also experience shifts. As a birth doula, I often remind pregnant people that this is the time to tune into their primal beings and gather all the things they need into a figurative basket.

One of the things hāpai folks need to gather is information about their chosen care provider and birth setting. This includes protocols for screenings and assessments, safety measures, labor management options, and available resources. Gathering this information and making solid decisions can allow the release of little details and help families embrace the bigger picture of how they will care for themselves during labor.

Another important thing to gather is the support of other positive families who are going through the same journey. Birth classes, prenatal yoga classes, group prenatals, and other opportunities to learn and socialize with other expectant parents in the community can be fulfilling and helpful. They can also reinforce the information and boost confidence during pregnancy. 

Here at Pacific Birth Collective, a dream long in the making has come true: we will be opening a gathering place for both families and professionals. The new location is in the Aloha ʻĀina Center at 810 Kokomo Road in Haiku. This place will be a treatment center, a place for all kinds of classes, and a safe space for people to socialize and make friends. We will feature the professionals from PBC’s directory, an extensive list of midwives, Native Hawaiian birth keepers, koʻokua (doulas), birth advocates, and kumu (educators) in the fields of acupuncture, massage, and bodywork who are nurturing, revitalizing, and bringing back the traditions around pregnancy, birth, and postpartum here on Maui.

Gathering information, positive people, practitioners, and new friends into your “basket” can help you prepare for the birth of your baby and make it a more positive and empowering experience.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @pacificbirthcollective, check out our website and sign up for our quarterly newsletter to get news of what is happening here on Maui and across the islands.

Kristina is a birth keeper, mother, and Pacific Birth Collective board member.