HILO, HI – January 3, 2018 – Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi (Hui Mālama) announces new Healthy Hāpai Prenatal Program for Hawaiʻi Island. Expecting mothers are learning about pregnancy, postpartum, & positive parenting education. The free five session program is offered island-wide in Hilo, Waimea, Kona, Kaʻū, and Puna areas. The engaging and educational curriculum is designed to help mothers throughout pregnancy and after birth.

Session 1: Mālama Ola Kino Hāpai, focuses on “Taking Care of my Pregnant Body”, and ways to cope and stay healthy during pregnancy. Session 2: Mālama ‘Ohana, focuses on “Taking Care of my Family”, discussing positive parenting, managing stress, preterm labor, and an introduction to breastfeeding. Session 3: Ho’omākaukau No Ka Hānau ‘Ana, focuses on “Getting Ready for Birth”, teaching participants about preparing for labor and birth. Session 4: Ho’omākaukau No Ka Pepe, focuses on “Preparing for Baby”, reviewing basic baby necessities, creating a postpartum plan, and discussing postpartum depression. Session 5: Mālama Keiki, focuses on “Caring for my Child”, providing newborn care, safety, and infant massage information. All program participants receive a free pregnancy journal and calendar as well as an opportunity to win an infant car seat or breastfeeding pillow.

Leila Ryusaki

The Healthy Hāpai classes are facilitated by Leila Ryusaki who joined Hui Mālama in July 2017 to develop the Healthy Hāpai prenatal program initiative. Leila started her career in the healthcare field 20 years ago as a Pharmacy Technician in Hilo. In 2007, she accepted a position at North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital where she worked for 10 years. It was her work at the Waimea Women’s Center that piqued her interest in prenatal care. Leila worked in the ob-gyn clinic with four Certified Nurse Midwives to conceptualize and start a prenatal care group called CenteringPregnancy. She worked as Program Coordinator and Facilitator for CenteringPregnancy for five years. During her time as Program Coordinator, she furthered her training and knowledge by becoming a Certified Lactation Counselor and Childbirth Educator. Leila’s dedication and passion for prenatal and postnatal education has been integral in the planning of Hui Mālama’s Healthy Hāpai program. She explains, “Pregnancy is not only about the birth of the baby. It’s also about the birth of the parents. We’re here to help with that transition.”

The Healthy Hāpai program is ideal for mothers in their first and second trimesters, and open to mothers in their third trimester as well. Both first-time and experienced mothers are encouraged to join and meet other pregnant moms. Participants are welcome to bring a partner, friend, or family member to class.

Classes were piloted in Hilo and Puna in 2017. An upcoming class is scheduled for North Hawai’i Wednesdays January 10, 17, 24, 31 and February 14, 4:00pm to 5:30pm. Future dates and locations to be announced. To sign up or learn more, expecting mothers can call Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi at (808) 969-9220.