Mom laboring in birth tub during Cleveland hospital birth.

Birth

Meet a Midwife: Hospital Midwife Susan Krieger of Empowering Eve Midwifery

March 18, 2024

If you’ve ever been curious about the ins and outs of working with a hospital midwife to birth your baby, this one’s for you! Today, we’ll hear from certified nurse midwife Susan Krieger, of Empowering Eve Midwifery in Cleveland, Ohio, and learn how she got into midwifery, her approach, and much more.

Quote from Cleveland hospital midwife Susan Krieger

What is your name and the name of your midwifery practice?

Hi, I’m Susan Krstic Krieger (Krstic is my middle name) of Empowering Eve Midwifery, part of Premier Physicians Women’s Health. 

How long have you been a hospital midwife and what got you into midwifery? 

I’ve been a certified nurse midwife for 10 years. I was a labor and delivery nurse previously, so it was a natural transition for me. I’ve helped so many patients through labor, that I finally reached a point in my career where I no longer wanted to step aside when the patient’s physician or midwife entered the room to catch the baby. I wanted the job from start to finish. 

Can you walk me through how you approach a typical birth as a hospital midwife?

I tend to births at Southwest General Hospital in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. The first visit I have with my patients is the longest, about 1 hour. In this initial visit, quite a bit of information gathering and teaching happens. I discuss the practice and what the patient can expect.  After that, we go over pregnancy issues and planning for birth at appropriate times, depending on gestation. 

Mom creates a birth plan and we review it together before the birth. I have a birth plan template for my patients that brings up several topics families may not have considered.

When Mom is in labor and ready to go to the hospital, she contacts me and I meet her at the hospital. I stay with her, advising and supporting her until after the baby is born. She can use the tubs or shower, and different positions to help with labor. She can also use meds or an epidural if she chooses.    

What would you say to someone with a concern or fear about giving birth, either at home or in a hospital?

As far as fear of hospital birth, I tell my patients that I try to create an atmosphere that is relaxing and safe. I have candles throughout the room, essential oils, and dimmed lights. They can play music of their choice and I limit how many unfamiliar faces enter the room throughout labor.  

What are some common misconceptions about hospital birth?

That you will be pushed into an epidural.

As a hospital midwife, I am with my patients the entire time they are in labor and respect their wishes and birth plans.  If the patient wishes to go natural, I won’t talk about the epidural unless she brings it up.  

Can you discuss any unique or innovative techniques you use as a hospital midwife to help moms have a comfortable experience?

I encourage a lot of positioning and use of the tub. While the hospital doesn’t allow water birth right now, moms can labor in the tub, which helps with pain management. I am a big advocate for moms choosing to birth in whatever position feels most comfortable for them.

Can you talk about the role of the father or partner during birth and how you support them in their role? 

Dads can be as involved as they are comfortable with. I encourage them to participate in comforting and encouraging Mom. I give them suggestions on how to comfort Mom during labor and help him find positions to support her in, like counter pressure on Mom’s back during or between contractions. Some dads like to help catch their babies! 

How do you incorporate evidence-based care into your practice, and what resources do you use to stay current on the latest research?

I encourage my patients to check out the Evidence Based Birth website. As far as keeping up to date as a certified nurse midwife, I participate in American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) activities and reading.  

Can you share any tips for families considering a hospital setting or hospital midwife for their upcoming birth?

I think the level of experience of any provider is important whether home or hospital birth. I think the family should feel they are heard and they should feel empowered. 

One of my goals as a hospital midwife is to do everything in my power to help create a positive birth experience for my patients, even if the birth plan changes. Listening to them, addressing their questions and concerns, making shared decisions, and helping them feel that they gave it their all really helps if a patient ends up in a c-section.  

Can you share any examples of how you have supported families who have had a previous traumatic birth experience and how they were able to have a positive birth experience?

Unfortunately, us midwives see this all the time. But communication is key in these situations. I think it is important to listen to the woman and understand what she has been through. Talking about her birth plan and helping her to know she has autonomy over her body and birth experience is important. She should feel empowered and supported by those around her and her birth team. Communication is important, the woman needs to know her options whenever there is a decision to be made. She needs to know the pros and cons of all the options, and she will make a good decision for herself and her baby.  

Where can people connect with you to learn more about what you offer (website, socials, email, etc.)

You can connect with me and learn more on my website, EmpoweringEve.com

Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself?

I’m in private practice, so my patients know they will get me in labor, unlike a big hospital-owned group where you don’t know who will be on call and with you. I think it’s important to have that relationship with a woman when she goes into labor, you know her better and she will have developed a relationship with you, be more relaxed, and trust you more than a stranger. 

I also speak Croatian/Serbian.

Susan Krieger Cleveland hospital midwife meeting with family
Photo courtesy of Susan Krieger

I hope you enjoyed learning more about Susan and the world of being a hospital midwife. She is offering a unique and empowering experience to moms who choose to birth in a hospital setting but still want the midwife model of care.

Click here to connect with Cleveland hospital midwife Susan Krieger.

Click here to see more Cleveland birth photography or to inquire about having your birth photographed by me!


Hey there and thank you for stopping by! I’m Mackenzie, owner of Mackenzie Romagni Photography, a birth, newborn, and family photographer serving growing families in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. I hope you found this “Midwife Spotlight: Hospital Midwife Susan Krieger of Empowering Eve Midwifery” blog post helpful. 

Are you expecting a new baby and hoping to hire a birth photographer for your hospital, birth center, or home birth? Contact me here to connect! Not quite ready yet? No problem! Follow me on Instagram or join my email list here to stay in the know.

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