Birth stories shared from a midwife is one of my favourite kind and this podcast is definitely right up there as it shares a deep rich tale of how passionate midwives can be in serving women. Hannah Dahlen probably knew from the first moment she witnessed a birth as a young teen living in the middle east that midwifery was in her bones. The roots of Hannah’s story runs right into the core of the wounded feminine, Hannah, a white female growing up in the middle east saw and felt what many women were subjected to in their basic human rights and reproductive decisions. These experiences have created the women she is today, tireless work as a feminist midwife, her advocacy and skills are here to better the outcomes for women, birth workers and their decisions. From where she sits amongst all her work in policy shifting, education, research, and public speaking, there is a mother, and there is her story. Hannah’s story shows, honour, love and guidance, for beyond all the policies and research here is a woman that has experienced life and loss, with love around this, Hannah shows the deep meaning in this podcast, she is a true advocate for women and shares a story with an open heart. 
The story begins in Yemen, Hannah is only a small toddler and recalls being in the clinic with her mother (the local midwife at the time) & veiled women reaching into her playpen, she remembers her play toys being kidney dishes and spatulas. At 12 years of age Hannah describes a birth that she witnessed as an experience that changed everything for her, the baby was a girl, and the baby was not wanted, for at this time female babies were not conducive to a male determinant culture. Hannah recalls holding this perfect little baby with the dawn breaking over the middle eastern skies, hearing the first call of prayer being announced and wondering how something so pure to life be downgraded as a second class citizen. The mother of the baby knew that if she kept producing girls her husband would find another wife and she would be subjected to a life of harsh service . Holding this cascade of emotions Hannah at that moment in life birthed her self as the feminist midwife, the baby was named Hannah and as her dear mother, was deemed to be a victim of her own unfortunate circumstances a destiny that will offer no care or love.
Yemen still remains one of the most dangerous places to have a baby currently Yemen is in the midst of war and famine and statistically there is 16 women in every 1000 will die in reproduction. According to Hannah this is not because ultimately of care, this is because girls are still being married off as young as 8. Young and undeveloped, women are still invisible and without voice.
This fire will not go out of the feminist midwives heart and her story follows…
Hannah left Yemen at 15, her very best friend was married off and lived the destiny of her birth circumstances, Hannah talks about meeting her many years later and speaks of harsh life that she had endured. Hannah’s mother worked in the dockland’s of London, being an original cycling midwife very similar as the popular series Call the midwife. Hannah grew up knowing that women had babies, and thats what women do!
In the UK Hannah became a nurse, then finally a midwife.  She come to Australia very confident with her skills and set her first post in Auburn NSW. Things were working great, yet Hannah wanted more skills in high risk birth and all that surrounded that. She got her transfer to a major hospital, this gave her the skills but created a very interesting fear for Hannah about birth. Realising this was not aligning and not serving her purpose, Hannah led her self into education placed her intent into the public realm of advocacy. Yet her deep relationship with the women is what she missed so wit...