About Chesapeake Midwifery
In the fall of 2008, Susan Dodge, CNM opened a home birth midwifery practice out of her home in Gambrills, MD. In January 2020, Katie Shannon, CNM, joined the practice full-time. She has brought her previous experience in home birth midwifery as well as offering at-home IUI and GYN services to Chesapeake Midwifery.
Our goal is to provide as much information, communication, and hands on support as you would want during pregnancy and labor without interfering with your desire for independence and privacy. We are open to honoring all requests that you would have to help make your birth match your vision of the unique family experience that it can be. We believe that when people are able to safely birth at home, they have true autonomy regarding their pregnancy, labor and birth.
We are licensed CNMs in Maryland and DC and our services are reimbursable by insurance companies as an out-of-network provider.
Susan & Katie at a birth together in 2008
About the Midwives
Susan Dodge, CNM
I gave birth at home to two daughters in the mid 1980s in Prince George’s County. I
became a La Leche Leader in 1986 and led community based breastfeeding support group meetings and provided phone counseling for 12 years. I became a certified lactation consultant in 1992. During the 1990s I taught childbirth classes for 7 years, and attended births as a doula for hospital, birth center and home births. I assisted homebirth midwives for 8 years before I decided to go to nursing school as a step to midwifery in 1998. Briefly, between nursing school and midwifery school, I worked as a mother/baby nurse at Anne Arundel Medical Center. I became a CNM in 2002 and worked with a group practice
attending home and birth center births until 2008. I have been the primary midwife at more than 590 out of hospital births in the last 16 years. I have attended approximately another 100+ home births as an assistant to other midwives in the last ten years.
I worked for a large group home birth/birth center practice from 2002 to 2008. I left the group practice to become a solo practice midwife in October 2008. I started my own practice in order to have a more familiar relationship with fewer clients and to know whose births I would be attending, in contrast to the on call system of a busier practice.
I had the pleasure and privilege of providing midwifery support for my daughter for the home births of her two children in 2012 and 2014.
Katie Shannon, CNM
My path to midwifery started when I moved to the DC area in 2001 and began working for a political reproductive rights organization that represented women’s health clinics on Capitol Hill. While working there, I also had the opportunity to spend some time in the women’s health clinics we represented, and it was in these clinics that I encountered my first midwife which changed the course of my life forever!
In 2004, I enrolled in an accelerated nursing program at Case Western Reserve University
in Cleveland, Ohio. I graduated with my RN in 2005 and began working as a labor & delivery nurse in a high-risk hospital setting. I started taking classes toward my midwifery degree in 2006, also at Case Western Reserve University. My final clinical rotation in January of 2008 was with a home birth and birth center practice where Susan Dodge was one of my mentors. After attending a couple of births at home with Susan and the other midwives in the practice, I knew that home birth midwifery was my true calling.
I was fortunate to spend my first three years as a midwife attending to families at home and in a freestanding birth center. From 2008-2011, I had the opportunity to attend to almost 200 clients during their labor and birth. I spent the next four years working in a community clinic, caring for people who would not have had any other opportunity to receive prenatal or gyn care. I thoroughly enjoyed caring for families in need, but really missed catching babies at home. In October of 2014, I joined a small home birth practice where I was able to attend to people in a more intimate and connected way. From 2014-2019, I had the opportunity to attend over 200 births and provide prenatal and postpartum care to over 500 clients and their families.
I live in Beltsville, Maryland with my spouse, Trisha, and our two children who were both conceived via IUI and born at home. Giving birth to both of our children in my own home was by far the most amazing experience of my life. The care I received from my midwives has truly shaped me into the midwife and mother I am today.