Kathe and Kaja Gibbs are a mother & daughter duo that serve Oahu women and families in the childbearing years as Licensed Midwives. They offer well-woman’s health care, midwifery care for pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and birth photography/videography! They are passionate about empowering women and creating community amongst mothers. Kathe is a longtime Licensed Midwife who provides Women’s Health Care as well as Home Birth/Birth Home Services to Mothers from the coming-of-age years, through pregnancy and birth, and completion of the childbearing years. Kaja is like-minded and a recent graduate and Licensed Midwife, thrilled to join her mom and live the dream of practicing together. When I had the honor of meeting these women, I was met with open arms and bright eyes! They are undeniably passionate about women reclaiming our right to birth at home, and to do so with a powerfully supportive community behind them!
Kathe has been practicing Midwifery for three decades all over the world, allowing for very unique and diverse experiences. These experiences opened Kathe up to powerful doctrines, educational relationships, experiences and vigor for increasing awareness in women about normal physiologic, instinctual, empowering birth and parenting! In her travels, Kathe learned about women’s health, healing, movement, bodywork therapies, homeopathy, naturopathy, and nutrition. Kathe has attended more than 1,600 out-of-hospital births in her years of practice and there is no sign of her wanting to slow down. Actually, I see an intensity in her and in her daughter
Kaja to continue their work to effect even more change in the birthing world!
Kaja moved to Hawaii to embark on a nursing school path in order to become a CNM. During that time, she became pregnant with her daughter and had an amazing, documented home birth with her mother as her Midwife. That experience reaffirmed to her that becoming a Midwife was what she wanted to do. She began her training in California with her mother for two years, and then completed her training in the State of Washington to receive certification as a CPM, and then on to become a Licensed Midwife. Kaja put her certification to work at a local birthing center, as she and her mother cultivated a big move back to Hawaii.
In my interview with the two, I was impressed by the way they complemented one another and their wealth of knowledge! They had imagined partnering together to support women in their birthing experiences, and now they are thrilled that they are in Hawaii doing just that. Kaja recalled memories of “sitting in the corner of the birthing room” when she was old enough to watch her mother assisting laboring mothers. She knew then that was her inspiration to go down the path to be a Midwife herself! It took several years to get where she is now: with much ‘due diligence’ in education, clinical training, and dedication to this work.
Kathe opened up about her history of becoming a midwife as well! She was actually in the FIRST class in the FIRST state to offer Midwifery Licensure! She was licensed in 1981 in Washington state, and after a move back home to California was among the first midwives to become licensed there. Her wonderful career is blossoming into fulfilling a long-held vision: to create a sanctuary for women, a center for women’s
health care and family wellness…a place to go, receive information, support, share… She mentions that women are very open-minded during pregnancy because they are aiming to do their best in birth and beyond. She feels that this then is the time most ‘ripe’/receptive for education and information.
Just exactly what services do Licensed Midwives provide? What are their education and training? Consumers and professionals alike are confused. It has been studied and proven that midwifery care for women out-of-hospital for the low-risk population, is as safe, if not safer, and is definitely more cost-effective, as well as demonstrates improved statistics on a range of maternal/child health matters. Midwifery care has always existed worldwide, and its resurgence into primary care in the U.S. is yielding fantastic statistics! It’s time to for midwifery care here and now.
This realization inspired Kathe to create the film: “Birth – A Full Circle of Seasons in the Childbearing Year”, which showcases Kaja’s photography. It has the intention of opening women up to the possibilities of safe, sacred, family birth in an out-of-hospital setting. It is not a documentary Kathe claims, rather she describes it as “to be experienced through the senses: eyes, ears, heart, mind, spirit! It is a visual landscape of that transformative year”
Kathe and Kaja are located in the Hawaii Kai area in a beautiful space where women come together to begin building community with events, support circles, film showings and receive personalized family-centered health care. These women are stunningly involved in the community, effecting positive change and passionate about working with women and families.
You can meet these powerful women in person, and view a clip of the film at this summer’s Mama Makeke, June 25, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at the WAC in Hale’iwa. See you there!
To connect with Kathe and Kaja, please check out their websites: