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Education, support and advocacy for birth and wellness choices across Hawai'i


What is a Midwife? 

A Midwife is a healthcare provider who specializes in caring for women during their pregnancy, labor, birth and throughout their childbearing years for routine care. They are trained to support normal physiologic childbirth as well as to recognize and intervene when things extend beyond the scope of normal. Attending laboring women, they typically carry their own set of tools and tricks to the trade (when interviewing a midwife, ask her what these are).  

Care by a midwife should be a trusting relationship with a knowledgeable professional who supports your autonomy and empowers you with knowledge to take charge of your own health. It is important to interview and ask questions when choosing your midwifery team. There is a wide variety of experience, education and training variation between Midwifery care providers and it is important to find a provider that resonates and connects with your unique needs.  As in most things, assume nothing and ask lots of questions! Please see a list of sample interview questions at the bottom of this page.

To see a list of acronyms and credentials, click here

The views and actions of Pacific Birth Collective do not represent the individuals and businesses listed below and vice versa. The professionals in this directory are listed here as a resource  and represent a wide variety of backgrounds, training, and cultural practices.

Acronym Definitions

*all acronyms represent the education and training of the provider and not their legal status to practice in the state of Hawai'i as a licensed provider

  • CPM—Certified Professional Midwife
  • CNM—Certified Nurse-Midwife
  • CM—Certified Midwife 
  • DEM—Direct Entry Midwife
  • Doula - a Non medical support person during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum
  • LM—Licensed Midwife
  • LMT—Licensed Massage Therapist
  • Montrice - offers support as a Doula but is also able to perform basic medical care under a primary midwife or doctor
  • ND—Naturopathic Doctor
  • RN—Registered Nurse

Finding and Interviewing Midwives

We recommend interviewing several to find one that is a good fit for you and your family.   Most Midwives work for a flat fee or have a sliding scale and you will likely be paying for your midwife without the assistance of insurance. You will want to make sure they offer the services, attitude, and philosophy you agree with. The ability to honestly express yourself and concerns to your midwife, or any health care professional, is central to being able to make an informed decision concerning your care. Make sure that you choose a midwife who you trust and who will be available when you need them, respect your opinions, values, and listen. The following are some suggestions for finding the best midwife for you.

  • Ask friends and family for a recommendation.
  • Midwives come from a myriad of training and experience backgrounds, so be sure to ask what certifications and qualifications she has earned.
  • Check references.
  • Ask questions about fees and services.
  • Bring up any specific concerns about pregnancy.
  • Discuss views on labor and childbirth in general.
  • Midwives don’t administer pain medication; ask what techniques they use to help if you are finding it difficult to cope with the intensity of labor.
  • Ask under what circumstances she recommends moving the homebirth into the hospital (this is called a transfer).
  • If a transfer is recommended, will she go with you to the hospital and will she stay with you as long as she is needed to act as your advocate? 
  • What routine labs does she perform?
  • Does she prefer that you have dual care, meaning that you maintain a relationship with an OB practice throughout your pregnancy?
  • How many days overdue does she feel comfortable with you going before she suggests induction? 
  • Discuss your birth plan, particularly if it includes a water birth. Some midwives offer birth tubs at an additional fee.
  • What part of the island is she coming from? How long would it take her to get to your home during peak traffic times?
  • Find out her accessibility. How quickly does she typically call clients back? Is she available through email for non-emergency questions?
  • How many births does she typically do in a month and how many other women does she have due around the same time as you?
  • Does she have a backup midwife in case of an emergency?
  • Often midwives have at least one assistant at the labor; if so, you will want to meet these other participants.
  • Even if you are using a midwife for a homebirth, you may want to find an OB you and your midwife can consult with during the pregnancy if you so choose.
  • Take a tour of the hospital so that you can feel more comfortable if the need for plan B arises.  

Want to know more about Midwifery In Hawai'i? 

Education, Support, and Advocacy for Birth and Wellness Choices Across Hawai'i

The information on this web site, including text, graphics, images and information, is for general information purposes only. Pacific Birth Collective makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this web site, and such information is subject to change without notice. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and carefully review all information regarding any care provider, service or treatment.
Pacific Birth Collective does not recommend, endorse or make any representation about the efficacy, appropriateness or suitability of any  services, opinions, care providers or other information that may be contained on or available through this web site. Pacific Birth Collective is not responsible nor liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products that obtain through this website.
Updated 9-1-22

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