Sydney Pelvic Floor Health



Susanne Langer RM


Susanne Langer was born in 1964 in Miltenberg, Germany. After Primary and Secondary School, she undertook Midwifery training at the School of Midwifery of the University Women's’ Hospital in Wuerzburg, Germany, concluding with registration as a Midwife in Germany in 1986. Until 1990 she worked as Staff Midwife at the District Hospital in Buchen, Germany. After emigration to New Zealand in 1990 she obtained registration there in 1992 and worked as casual and staff midwife in Christchurch and Dunedin, NZ. After relocation to Australia and registration first in Queensland and in NSW in 1998, she filled similar positions at several tertiary obstetric units in Brisbane and Sydney.

After the birth of her first son Lucas in Sydney in 1999 she temporarily left midwifery practice. Since 2003 she works for Sydney Urodynamic Centres, and since 2008 she is employed by Sydney Medical School Nepean, University of Sydney, as Research Midwife. A second son, Marcus, was born in 2004.

Working at Sydney Urodynamics introduced her to Pelvic Floor Ultrasound, which she has been performing independently for over 5 years in over 500 cases. Since 2008 she has gained extensive experience in the assessment of somatic birth trauma, administering several perinatal trials, amongst them a multicentre randomised controlled trial conducted at Nepean and RPA Hospitals. She has also gained insights into postnatal psychological morbidity through her involvement in two postnatal qualitative studies focussing on psychological morbidity.

Due to her professional experience as a clinical midwife and her training in study planning and conduction, as well as her unique skills in postnatal assessment, Susanne is eminently qualified to act as a co-investigator in the proposed project.

Elizabeth Mary Skinner (Liz)

RN RM CFHN Master of Health Science (Ed.)

RN RM CFHN Master of Health Science (Ed.)

Liz Skinner is a clinician, educator and researcher with over 25 years experience working with critically ill patients, women and their families. She attained her 3-year General Nursing Registration at Sydney Hospital, Macquarie Street and then worked at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne in Cardio Thoracic Critical Care for 1 year.

She completed her 1-year Midwifery Course Registration at the Royal Hospital for Women, Sydney and then travelled to London, UK where she worked in intensive care units at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington and the Royal Free Hospital, Belsize Park. On returning to Sydney she worked for 3 years in Cardio Thoracic Critical Care. Due to a special interest in nurse education, she commenced a Bachelor of Arts Degree at UNE where she met her husband who was studying to be a teacher. The same year she was offered a teaching position at Prince of Wales, Randwick for undergraduate nurses at all levels of their training and continued there until the birth of her first son Alex a few years later. After a very traumatic birth she was unable to physically work for 8 months.

Her second son Joshua was born 4 years later and the family moved to western Sydney where she spent a long time recovering from birth injury surgery. Later she worked as a clinical midwife and neonatal intensive care RN at Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals. At this stage of her career, she also attained a Child and Family Diploma from UWS and spent time in community nursing. In 2006, she was offered a full time lecturing position for 3 years at ACU North Sydney and commenced her Masters of Health Science (Education) at the University of Sydney, which she completed in 2009.

In 2011, in order to facilitate her personal interest in maternal psychological and physical effects sustained after traumatic vaginal deliveries, she commenced her search for clinical researchers/ supervisors on this subject and joined the staff at RPA as a midwife. After multiple discussions with several ill informed researchers and months of studying academic papers, she providentially met with Professor Hans Peter Dietz. In 2013 she was accepted into a Master of Philosophy (Medicine) at Sydney Medical School Nepean, under his supervision. In 2015, she extended this to enrol for a PhD and was awarded the Dr Albert McKern Scholarship 2015. Preliminary research results were presented at the International Continence Society Conference Montreal 2015 and Marce Adelaide October 2015. Interviews with partners of affected mothers were commenced in 2015.

She has recently published a journal article with the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology entitled: Psychological and somatic sequelae of traumatic vaginal delivery: A literature review.