Professor Hannah Dahlen


Associate Dean, Research and HDR, School of Nursing and Midwifery
Professor of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery


Hannah Dahlen is Professor of Midwifery, Associate Dean Research and HDR and Mdiwifery Discipline Lead in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Western Sydney University. Hannah is a leading midwifery researcher in Australia, with an international reputation as an outstanding midwifery scholar. This is demonstrated through publication of over 200 papers and book chapters, despite only being an active researcher for the past 10 years and maintaining clinical practice. Hannah has given papers at over 100 conferences and seminars since in the past 5 years with half of these being invited national and international keynote addresses.


Hannah has developed strong international research partnerships for research projects that are having significant impacts in the field of maternity care and midwifery globally. She has been a co-investigator on the European Union Grant Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST) Action Project led from the University of Central Lancashire. In 2011 Hannah along with Professor Downe (UCLAN) and Professor Holly Kennedy Powel (Yale University) formed an international research group called EPIIC (Epigenetic impact of Childbirth). Hannah has international collaborations with researchers at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN-UK), VU Medical Centre Amsterdam, Lund University (Sweden) and Yale (USA).

Hannah’s research interests fall under two major themes:

  1. Keeping birth normal, which includes research into birth positions, perineal comfort and trauma during second stage, birth experiences of first time mothers at home and in hospital, use of NSW and National perinatal data to look at maternal and perinatal outcomes in different models of care and place of birth and vaginal birth after caesarean.
  2. Health service/policy development, which includes publications on homebirth, birth centres and freebirth, human rights and birth trauma, the development of a midwifery initiated oral health service for pregnant women, service engagement and outcomes for infants and their young mothers, analysis of media depictions of midwives obstetricians and birth, the use of doulas in the health service and outcomes for low risk women giving birth in private and public hospitals.

Prizes, Honours and Awards

In 2019 Hannah was awarded a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) in the Queen's birthday honours list for her significant services to midwifery, nursing and medical education. Hannah was named (30th November 2012) as one of Sydney's leading thinkers in the Sydney Morning Herald's list of 100 "people who change our city for the better" and as "probably the leading force promoting natural birth and midwife-led care in Australia."

Other professional activities

Hannah remains clinically engaged currently and has had a predominantly clinical career. This has given rise to a strong profile in the profession of midwifery. She is the past National President and Vice President of the Australian College of Midwives. Hannah has written over  200 articles for commercial parenting magazines as a midwifery expert and sits on several editorial boards of both peer reviewed journals and non-peer reviewed journals/magazines. Hannah is also one of the top ranked authors writing for the Conversation with more than 34 publications

Research Interests

  • Human rights in childbirth
  • Normal birth
  • Perinatal Maternal and Infant Health
  • Perineal care

Qualifications and Recognition

  • PhD University of Technology, Sydney
  • BNurs University of Technology, Sydney
  • MComN University of Sydney
  • BNurs University of Technology, Sydney
  • Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) 2019-06-10
  • Life Member of the Australian College of Midwives 2008-08-30

Research & Publications

Contact Details

Telephone +61 2 9685 9118
Location Parramatta Campus