A black and white photo of a pregnant belly and two sets of arms wrapped around it.

Love In Action Full Moon Feature | Culturally Rooted Birth Practices

Accessibility. This is the common issue that Hina Luna’s monthly Love In Action features are all rooted in. The right to clean water and air, nutritious food, and safe shelter are among the baselines discussed and advocated for often in this space, but let’s go back to the beginning where accessibility to safety, support, and intentionality is quite literally a birthright. Yes, birth.

This month Hina Luna is shining the spotlight on Kalauokekahuli, a Hawai’i-based organization seeking to change the birthing experience for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander families for the better.

Kalauokekahuli’s mission is to support the healthy growth of Native and Pacific Islander families by enhancing the well-being of birthing people, parents, and their infants with holistic, multi-generational, and culturally-rooted care regardless of socioeconomic privilege.

In doing so, they seek to revitalize and normalize traditional prenatal, birth, and postpartum practices by foregrounding Indigenous knowledge and by centering the care/support of local families through community outreach.

Statistics show that Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders tend to receive prenatal care in later term (if any at all) compared to the white demographic and the infant mortality rate is also higher. By offering culturally relevant educational classes and workshops, in addition to providing access to high quality prenatal, birth, and postpartum services, Kalauokekahuli strives to create more positive birth and postpartum outcomes for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

Accessibility begins at birth and every birth experience deserves to be intentional, safe, and supported by a community who cares. To care about and support the birthing and postpartum experiences does not require having personal birth experience or the desire to have one’s own children, rather it is an extension of community care that doesn’t receive the devotion it is worthy of. Parental care is often overlooked in the process, however is absolutely fundamental to a positive birth outcome and the wellbeing of baby. Many believe that our birth story of how we come into the world sets the foundation for the rest of our life. Doesn’t every birthing person and their infant have the right to the best start possible?

Learn more about Kalauokekahuli’s work and how you can support the safety and wellbeing of Indigenous generations to come by supporting birthing people of Hawai’i and the Pacific Islands.

Make a donation towards providing prenatal, birth, and postpartum care and education to Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander families.

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