COMMUNITY BASED DOULA PROGRAM

Having a doula can help you have a more positive birth experience and transition into parenthood. HMHB’s Community Based Doula Program makes doula support accessible. The program’s design is specifically to help decrease disparities and improve outcomes for our communities of color in Hawai’i. At HMHB we understand that doula support is not always within means; it’s seen as a luxury and not a basic right. Birth support is necessary and evidence shows that by having continuous support, satisfaction with birth experience increases and intervention rates decrease. 

What is a doula?
A doula is a non-medical support person who gives their client educational, emotional, and physical support. They are an advocate for their client and help the main support person be prepared for labor. They do not replace the spouse/partner/family member, they help to elevate this relationship and help their client be heard.

Meet our doulas:

Chelisse Okamura

Chelisse Okamura

Birth and Postpartum Doula

Aloha! My name is Chelisse and I am Native Hawaiian, born and raised here in the islands. I have 3 kind, beautiful boys and a fun loving partner. I found my passion for birth work through my own children. My first birth was emergent and traumatic while my second birth was calm and healing. I realized that through my own births, how supported you feel through the process makes all the difference in the world. How you’re made to feel while you birth, imprints in you and is something that you will remember for the rest of your life. My goal is to help birthing people feel secure and educated in their births.

Amber Ward

Amber Ward

Birth and Postpartum Doula

I am a passionate parent of two, military spouse and yogi! I am an advocate for creating birth spaces that center the voices of birthing families. Pregnancy is a delicate and emotional time and so is the healing we experience afterwards. I hope to guide, comfort, and support families on this marathon of childbirth with knowledge, compassion, and transparency. I want birthing individuals to feel empowered and for the birthing experience to be everything they envision it to be. I understand that things don’t always go according to plan but my goal as a doula is to ensure that when they don’t, you have choices and feel respected.
Sarah Michal Hamid

Sarah Michal Hamid

Birth and Postpartum Doula

Aloha! I am a doula who came to this work through advocacy and organizing for reproductive justice. I believe that mothers and birthing people deserve to feel honored, safe, seen and comfortable, and as a doula I seek to center the pregnant person and their wellbeing. I am guided by the needs of the mother or birthing person and feel honored to support mothers and birthing people throughout their pregnancy journeys. I love to collect earrings, eat mangoes, swim, make watercolor paintings and watch reality TV!

 
Jasmine Merritt

Jasmine Merritt

Birth and Postpartum Doula

Jasmine’s passion for serving the people in her community led her into the field of birth work. Jasmine is a student midwife (Phase 2) , birth and postpartum doula and placenta encapsulator from Montgomery, Alabama. She currently resides in Honolulu, Hawaii where she is studying to become a midwife at National College of Midwifery and apprenticing under Selena Green, CPM at Hale Kealaula Midwifery. Growing up in the Deep South, Jasmine was introduced to the importance of supporting women throughout birth from an early age. Her passion for womenʻs health and aiding women in understanding the power of their voice has shaped her love for becoming a midwife. She became interested in doula work and HIV/ AIDs advocacy after working in her community and understanding how representation matters and the statistics of the maternal mortality rates for women of color in the United States. When not at a birth, Jasmine enjoys her pets, gardening, thrifting, hiking, and enjoying the nature of the island!
Ebony Smith

Ebony Smith

Birth Doula

I am Ebony an certified birth professional. Decicated to UPLIFTING and EMPOWERING families through their pregnancy journey. As a certified Birth Doula, Trauma-Informed Prenatal Yoga Instructor, and Birth Photographer I provided a holistic and healing approach through your pregnancy and beyond. Often times women not only birth children but during the process birth a new version of themselves. I have years of experience that will help EMPOWER YOU to have a DYNAMIC BIRTH! Let me support YOU during this LIFE CHANGING JOURNEY.

Tiana Hodzic

Tiana Hodzic

Birth & Postpartum Doula

Hi I’m Tiana! I am in love with the human experience– the raw, the real, the intimate. I have found that leaning into the juiciness of our experiences is a doorway into aliveness and freedom, as well as a path back home to ourselves. Pregnancy, childbirth, and the transition into parenthood are experiences that are perhaps some of the most raw, pushing us to our edge. This is what drew me to becoming trained as a labor and postpartum doula as well as a prenatal yoga instructor. I feel called to work within these spaces, inviting the reconnection of the self to our bodies and intuition. I believe in empowered choices and following the lead of the birthing person in order to be of service in the best way I can. I feel honored to hold space and be a support on this beautiful journey. When not working, I love to sing, dance, play in the water, hike, paint, read, travel, and spend time with those I love.

Danielle Willis

Danielle Willis

Birth and Postpartum Doula

My name is Danielle. I’m a mother of 4 and come from a huge Trinidadian family where I began my love for pregnancy, birth, and children. My grandmother had 9 children whom she birthed at home at her house was always filled with love and laughter. I was always so excited when our family was blessed a new life and even more when I began to have children of my own. Through my motherhood journey I realized how important having a village of support was and through my 3/4 traumatic birth experiences I was pulled to doula hood with a drive to help other mothers have an advocate and a support person to help them have the birth experiences our bodies were made to have. I was always at my friends and families sides for advice or even just an ear as they entered motherhood. I am also a photographer and found that even my love for photography leaned towards my path for helping mothers as I captured maternity, birth and milestone photos. Once I finally took a leap to become a trained doula as my path began to ensure me that this was what I was meant to do.  I am excited to continue my journey to be with mothers during this sacred time in their lives.

Ezinne Dawson

Ezinne Dawson

Birth and Postpartum Doula

I am passionate about and committed to supporting birthing people. I have been attending births since I was 15 years old and became a doula in 2014 and then became a certified professional midwife in 2021. I have 5 children of my own and also was blessed to carry a baby as a surrogate in 2020. I enjoy music, singing, being with my family, attending my kids sporting events, meditation and seeing the triumph on the faces of the families I am blessed to support. I truly believe peace on earth begins with birth.

Imelda Undan

Imelda Undan

Birth and Postpartum Doula

Hello, my name is Imelda! I am currently a full-time nursing assistant/aide, but I was a certified midwife in the Philippines. I have 20 years of pediatric experience and have passion for taking care of babies and their mothers. I have a 26-year-old daughter who has recently graduated as a licensed practical nurse. I enjoy taking long walks, shopping, and challenging myself to learn new things. I am excited to join the HMHB family and looking forward to meeting you very soon.

Ebony McFadden

Ebony McFadden

Birth and Postpartum Doula

My name is Ebony McFadden and I’ve been a Doula since 2018. I’ve also been working as a post-partum certified nurse assistant at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children since 2017. Fall 2020, I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of Hawaii (go bows). As a doula, I believe in the importance of women being heard and feeling supported before, during and after giving birth. A personal mission of mine will be to help lower the rates of post-partum depression one family at a time. I want to bring awareness and allow new mommies to know that they shouldn’t feel any shame and that they’re not alone during their journey. A little a about me, in my free time I have a free spirit. My hobbies include dancing, listening to music, reading, roller skating with my family, cooking, hanging with my friends at the beach and I love being in nature. I look forward to bringing good energy and being of useful service to my community.

Tanya Smith-Johnson

Tanya Smith-Johnson

Birth and Postpartum Doula, HMHB Policy Director

I have been involved in maternal health, caregiving and birthwork for the past 27 years. I have cared for mothers and babies as a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy, CNA, doula and midwife . Mothering and caring for other mothers and their babies is my passion. Improving families’ outcomes and experiences is the work I have been called to do. I am the mother of 6 and active duty Navy spouse to my husband of 20 years. I enjoy cooking , traveling, homeschooling  and exploring the with my children.

Pennie Bumrungsiri

Pennie Bumrungsiri

Birth and Postpartum Doula, HMHB Program Director

I have been offering hands to maternity care since 2012 and incorporate years of international development work in health and poverty eradication into the sensitivity of care I provide. My advocacy roles in South and Southeast Asia, South Africa, Latin America and the Hawaiian Islands, have encompassed beginning and end of life cycles as a doula and hospice volunteer. I love to travel, spend time with family, cook, craft and believe strongly in nature’s medicine.

Jacquelyn Ingram

Jacquelyn Ingram

Postpartum Doula, HMHB Program Director

In 2016, I was a part of the first indigenous full spectrum doula training in Algonquin Territory, while pregnant with twins. I believe ceremony and culture belong in transformative life experiences and I advocate for informed choices and reproductive justice.  I am a life long learner, currently studying maternal mental health and certifying in childbirth education.  I currently reside on Oahu with my husband and three young children.  When not in a global pandemic, I love to travel and volunteer, but equally enjoy healthy cooking and local beach walks.

Kari Wheeling

Kari Wheeling

Birth and Postpartum Doula, HMHB Clinical Services Director

My work with mothers and babies spans 20+ plus years as a birth and postpartum doula, breastfeeding counselor, RN and now APRN.  I live in Makiki and am the mother to a teenager.  Being chosen to support families during a very special time in their life is truly a gift.  I enjoy getting to know the families, and becoming an extended part of their Ohana.  My husband has spent over 20 years in the food industry and is a really good cook, so I enjoy eating whatever he makes!

Need a doula? 

Call (808) 737-5805