Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Doula?

A doula is an experienced, highly trained professional who provides support for pregnant, birthing and postpartum women and their partners.

What a doula is not…?

A doula is not a medical professional, although doulas usually have a lot of experience with pregnancy, birth and postpartum mums and babies. A doula does not give medical advice but will help you ask the right questions. A doula does not perform medical procedures, or make decisions on your behalf, but will help you understand your options. A doula does not communicate your preference to your medical team but will help you communicate them.

What are the benefits of a birth Doula?

Birth doulas are statistically proven to improve outcomes:
31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*
28% decrease in the risk of C-section*
12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*
9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience*

*More info here.

What does a Postpartum Doula do?

A postpartum doula supports you, your partner and your extended family in settling into life with baby. As your postpartum doula I will help you with understanding how to settle and soothe baby, assist with establishing breastfeeding, watch baby while you have a nap or a walk, as well as helping with light household chores that will allow you to get much needed rest. I will also prepare meals especially designed to help you recover your strength and energy and stimulate milk production. Whatever you need to help you through, your postpartum doula will be there.

What if I just want to buy some Postpartum food?

If you are within the Sydney region I can provide home-delivered food that is prepared in small batches and is specially created to provide you with all the nutrients you need post-birth. If you are outside Sydney, you can also order teas and healing bath soaks via mail order.

Does a doula replace my partner?

No, quite the contrary. Doulas provide birth preparation, delivery support and postpartum support for both mums and their partners. They work with all types of mums and families. Doulas have different styles and different strengths. It’s important to interview several doulas until you find one that is a good fit for you.

Are doulas just for hippies?

Absolutely not! Doulas are for anyone who wants a positive birth and postpartum experience. Doulas are highly respected professionals who work just as well with doctors, midwives and nurses in hospitals and birth centres as they do in home births.

Are doulas accepted in hospitals?

Prior to Covid 19 Doulas were well accepted in hospitals. Since the introduction of social distancing and the need to reduce the number of people visiting hospitals there have been some changes. It is best to check with your hospital what their policy is. If your hospital is not open to having a doula at your birth I can supply you with a letter requesting permission to attend and outlining why it is important to you. But even if your hospital will not allow a doula at your birth, you can still benefit from Birth Preparation and Postpartum Doula services.

What is your doula style?

I consider myself nurturing and hands on for physical support. For information and emotional support, I am a doula with a calm, confident and no-nonsense style of communication. I am knowledgeable and easy going. Your birth and parenting goals are my goals. It is my job to support you 100%.

What if I want an epidural?

That’s great. I support you. Knowing what you want for your birth is the first step to being empowered in your choices.

While an epidural will relieve intense sensations, it will not calm your mind. My goal as a doula is help you feel educated, prepared and confident before labour begins. During labour, my goal is help you find your rhythm and use comfort measures in early labour so when you do decide to go to the hospital you will have progressed far enough along and not be sent home. If you choose to use pain medication, I will stay with you and continue to provide emotional and informational support. Modern epidurals are gradual and you can control how much medication you receive. You may still feel sensations and you will still need physical support for comfort and help with optimal positioning.

What happens if I go into labour and you’re not around for some reason?

If you have booked me for Delivery Support, I will always make sure that I am not going to be away at the time you are due to give birth, but in the rare event that I am sick, or there is an emergency, I have two back-up doulas who I work closely with, so you won’t at any time be left on your own. We meet up regularly to discuss all things pregnancy and birth and I have complete confidence that you would be taken care of should the need arise.

Baby Massage Classes in Northern Sydney and the Hills District


Websites – for beautiful and practical baby slings.  A good sling is something you should not be without. – a breastfeeding support resource featuring advice, videos and products to help you on your journey. – providing courses and newsletters featuring the latest evidence based birth information to empower you in your birthing choices. – a wonderful resource for all sorts of teas, tinctures and herbs to help with pregnancy, birth and postpartum. – a not for profit organisation supporting the emotional wellbeing of expectant and new parents. – providing information on birthing at home, including a list of midwives. – blogs by a respected and experienced midwife on all things pregnancy and birth related. – you can receive a 10% discount on the hire of a TENS machine by using the code – alisonhansendoula – a great resource for pregnancy, birth, babies and family life in general

Videos – This is a film like no other – raw, powerful and intense.  A birthing woman is powerful sight to behold, and this film captures it beautifully. – a stunning collection of birth stories from around the world – each one with the potential to change how you feel about birth forever.


  • The First 40 Days (The essential guide to nourishing the new mother) by Hen Ou, Amely Greeven & Marisa Bolger
  • Well Adjusted Babies by Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreami
  • Birthing from Within by Rhea Dempsey
  • The Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill
  • Nurture by Erica Chidi Cohen

Additional Practitioners



Yoga classes/teachers

Pregnancy Massage

Childbirth Classes

  • – Susan Rebolledo – an empowering birth class that recognises the relationship between the mind and body during birth.


  • In Natures Hands – Rachel is a wonderful naturopath
  • Bella Vista Natural Therapies – from fertility to conception to postnatal