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 partnered with Susan and opened her office in Beltsville, MD where she sees clients for homebirth, fertility, and GYN services. Katie and Susan worked together providing homebirth services for 2.5 years before Susan retired in August of 2022 to spend more time with her grandchildren, make gorgeous pottery and travel. Jenny Corbett starting attending births with Katie and Susan in 2021 as a Birth Assistant and became the primary assistant in September of 2022.
Our goal is to provide as much information, communication, and hands on support as you want during pregnancy and labor without interfering with your desire for independence and privacy. We are open to honoring all requests that you have in order 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.
Katie is a licensed Certified Nurse Midwife in Maryland and DC and services are reimbursable by insurance companies as an out-of-network provider.
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. After attending my first homebirth as a student, I knew that homebirth 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 in 2012 & 2016. 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.
Jenny Corbett, Birth Assistant
I am a birth assistant, a doula, and a placenta encapsulator, but I didn’t start out that way! I am an actor and singer by training. I have been living in the DC area since 2001. In 2003, I began working as a company member of The Capitol Steps political satire group. I have done freelance theatre work, and taught music, drama, and yoga to children. I love the arts and believe in the power of the arts to enrich and elevate life to a new level. It was my first love and my passion for as long as I can remember…and then I gave birth. And then nothing was the same!
I still love the theatre. I still love to sing and make people laugh, but it doesn’t light the fire under me that it used to. The birth of my first child, Lucy, at home in September of 2009 ignited a passion in me for birth and babies. I thought this obsession would fade as my own childbearing time came to a close, however, after my son Malcolm was born in 2011, I realized my passion for birth was a calling I need to follow. The midwives that attended my first two births gave me a wonderful gift. Two beautiful, peaceful home births and a bottomless well of confidence in the power of my own body. I was lucky enough to have a third birth with these amazing women in January of 2016 (Katie was one of my midwives for my last birth!). The fact that I had worked side by side with them as members of the same birth team during my years as a doula made the experience even more joyful the third time around! These empowering births left me with a deep desire to “pay it forward” by serving others who desire to have their voices heard as they give birth.
photo credit Sarah Elizabeth Photography
Karen Milgate, Student Midwife
I felt called to support a different model of birth when I was working with a women’s health collective in the 1980s in Washington D.C. Our goal was to demystify and demedicalize reproductive health care, including birth. I became part of a midwifery study group led by a midwife from the Farm and apprenticed with a midwife supporting home births. My journey was delayed when I became a single Mom in 1988. To support my daughter and I, I began a 30-year career in health policy. I now have two daughters—the first was a long labor at home with an eventual Cesarean and the other was a home birth after the Cesarean. Along the way I informally supported friends in their children’s births.
When I left my policy career I again felt a call to birth work and also to a deeper understanding of how to work with plant medicine. I enrolled in the National Midwifery Institute and began apprenticing with Amy Miller, at Redhouse Birthcare. In this next phase of my training I am excited about working with Katie and Chesapeake Midwifery and getting to know and support our clients! In my apprenticeship so far, I have enjoyed working with a diverse clientele—all races, ethnic groups, religious and spiritual beliefs and families with more or less income.
Complementing my midwifery studies, I spent 3-years in intensive training and opened a Plant Spirit Medicine practice. In this practice, I focus on using plants to help support people through difficult life transitions. In particular, I help new parents and those in the phase after child rearing (although it never truly ends)--which I call the third phase of life.
My husband Mark and I have six grown children between us (two are mine and four are his) and seven grandchildren and step-grandchildren, eleven chickens and a large garden.