Des Moines Parent Spotlight: Katie Nyberg
Katie Nyberg and I first met during our postpartum doula training workshop a few years ago. Since then, I have watched her grow into such an amazing resource for moms expecting, postpartum and for women who want to become postpartum doulas. To say I am a ‘fan’ of the Iowa Baby Lady is an understatement! Learn more about Katie, her business and some of her best parenting advice.
Give us a little background of your family and personal life! How many kids do you have? Have you lived in Des Moines all your life?
I am a proud Iowa native! I currently live in Clive and grew up in Urbandale, but I also loved my time at UNI and living in the Quad Cities too. My husband is a chiropractor at Waukee Wellness and we have two boys ages 12 and 9. They are a great mix of sports, music, and overall fun kids! I love being a soccer mom, hockey mom, and attending music concerts too. Since both my husband and I grew up in this area, we are so blessed to have a TON of extended family and friends close by.
I often tell people that I think I was born in the wrong decade. I love to sew, bake, garden, read, and play the piano. Also, I’m more suited for decades when women exercising wasn’t a thing! Ha!
What is your business, and what do you do?
After the birth of my second son, I started to notice how little new moms were talking about their struggles. I personally had some issues and didn’t have any idea where to go for help or how to ask for help.
A few months later, a family member asked if I would be her birth coach and I quickly said “YES!” I decided to take a doula training to gain some additional skills. I had no idea that doula work would become a career for me!
My business is “The Iowa Baby Lady” and I have been serving local families since 2010 as a labor doula, postpartum doula, and birth/new parent educator.
More and more people are starting to understand that labor doulas are to support the family throughout pregnancy and birth regardless of their plans for pain management. However, postpartum doulas are a very new service to Central Iowa. My job is to take care of the new family after birth by providing information on recovery, sleep, baby care, feedings, siblings, and so much more! I can also get dinner on the table and breakfasts in the fridge too!
I was originally a 5th Grade teacher so teaching classes is something I still love to do. I currently teach private childbirth classes and co-teach B.O.O.B. Camp with a local lactation consultant, Angela Swieter. It’s so fun to be able to collaborate with other professionals!
Finally, when I’m not working in Iowa, I am the Senior Advisor for the Labor Doula Program with CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association) out of Atlanta, GA. I get to train doulas and educators all over the USA!
Why did you become a small business owner?
I never imagined that I would own a business. In fact, I would probably say that while I was so passionate about serving mothers and families, I was terrified of running a business. Many webinars and coaching sessions later, I absolutely LOVE having a small business and am a very proud business owner. I find that I spend a very large portion of my business time learning about marketing, networking, and business concepts. I think this is critical, especially for doulas, since we have a service that is very new in the Des Moines area. Plus, we have a very small window of time (9 months!) to fill our calendars.
Where is your favorite place to take your children to play indoors?
I loved taking my kids to public libraries when they were younger. Now that they are a bit older, we still visit libraries and also like going to the Science Center in the summer and public skating times at Metro Ice Arena in the winter.
Where is your favorite place to take your children to play outdoors?
We love playgrounds and geocaching! We try to visit various parks but we really like Walker Johnston Park in Urbandale. If you aren’t familiar with geocaching, add this to your to-do list for the fall! You can do this free activity any season but we prefer comfortable weather.
Parent’s day/night out. Describe your perfect parent only day/night out in Des Moines.
Wes and I have been trying to have more coffee dates lately and enjoy trying local coffee shops. We also love to try local restaurants. I would say our perfect night out would be a great dinner followed by doing something outside like skating, walking, going to a festival, or a sporting event.
What are some tips on juggling parenthood, working, and personal life?
I threw out the word “balance” a long time ago. Since I love music, I work towards parenthood-work-personal “harmony”. I am very realistic and know that at any time, one of those areas is likely to be struggling. I know that all of these areas also go through seasons where one is doing really well, and one is likely to be causing additional stress. When this happens, it’s a great time for me to look at priorities and reassess life goals.
My biggest tip is to set boundaries. I traditionally take a few months off during the year when I’m not on-call or traveling for work. Typically this is the month of December and I load up on lots of family time! I also take time off in the summer so we can go on day-trips, the pools, and try all of the fun things Des Moines Parent suggests! Whether it’s a day, week, weekend, or month, intentionally planning time with family is good for everyone and keeps work burnout away.
What is your number one parenting tip?
Learning to communicate well with my kids has been very important for me. When they were little, we would talk about the activity we were about to do, our expectations for them, and then evaluate how it went.
For example, before we would enter the zoo, I would talk about what our plans were (outside animals, lunch, inside animals, home). I would explain that they needed to stay close to me for safety and not to yell because it might scare the animals. In the car, we would talk about all of the fun things we did and also about their good behavior (hopefully!). Now that they are older, we still have these talks but it’s over tougher topics. We do this all with lots of love and patience, and it has really paid off for our family!
Oh, and I can’t forget this one! Teach them flexibility. Not like touching their toes, but to be flexible when things go unplanned.