This summer we are thrilled to feature some local moms who are thinking outside the box and making a difference in our community through the businesses they own, organizations they are involved with, and work they do. Check out the rest of the series and read profiles from previous years here.
Katie Nyberg is the owner and founder of The Iowa Baby Lady. She loves serving hundreds of families throughout Central Iowa as a labor doula, postpartum doula, and childbirth/new parent educator. Katie and her family live in Clive. She is also a senior contributor for Des Moines Mom.
What do you consider the biggest challenge of motherhood to be? Biggest joy?
There are so many challenges that come with being a mom! My kids are currently tween/teenagers. I’m finding the balance between allowing them some independence while also protecting them from harm can be overwhelming at times. Am I hovering too much? Am I allowing them too much freedom with screens/friends?
However, my kids being a bit older and having more independence means I get to watch them develop their own identities. I find so much joy seeing them take new risks, try new activities, develop strong friendships, and discover what they are passionate about doing.
When did you become a doula and start The Iowa Baby Lady? What was your goal?
I always imagined I would retire a classroom teacher. I spent my first years out of college teaching 5th graders and loved it! However, after the birth of my second son, I decided to stay home. Shortly after, my sister-in-law found out she was expecting twins and wondered if I would be her birth “coach”. I had a doula with my second son’s birth and decided to take a training so I could better support her. I never imagined I would be running a doula agency with nine doulas and training other new doulas to do this work too.
My goal has always been to help expecting and new families find their confidence from pregnancy to birth and during the first weeks at home with their new baby(ies). Many families don’t know they have options about birth/parenting and I love helping them find what works best for their unique situations.
What’s the best part about being your own boss?
I love the flexibility of being able to set my own schedule. (Well, for the most part. Babies come all times of the day and sometimes I have to miss big events!). I’ve gotten to experience so many things with my kids that I would have missed if I was still a teaching 5th grade. I’ve been able to chaperone field trips, help with Junior Achievement lessons in my kids’ classes, attend almost all music and sports activities, and have some extra time to meet people for coffee too.
What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
I find the hardest part about running a business is finding the balance between work and home life. I often find myself feeling guilty about saying yes to more work which means less time at home. Or vice versa. I also find myself feeling guilty about watching tv with my family at night when I know there are new emails to answer or social media posts to schedule.
What advice do you have for moms who want to start a business?
Do it and take any help you can get! Whether it’s visiting with the Small Business Development Center in Iowa (a free service) or hiring someone already successful in your field as a coach, it’s nice to have a team there to help you get started. It’s also good to accept help from family and friends who may be willing to watch your kids while you take a class or bring a meal while you’re getting the business going. (This is also the same advice we give new moms too!)
What do you wish you knew when you started?
I wish I knew in the beginning how to value my services and set prices according to what I needed to sustain this work. Doula work was still a pretty new career when I started so it was hard to determine what things I needed to put in place to get the business going—and thriving. Now I love helping new doulas get their businesses started without many of the struggles I faced in the beginning.
What do you love about raising a family in Des Moines?
I grew up in Urbandale and my husband is from Johnston so we have a lot of love for this part of Iowa. I love that we’re able to raise our boys in the Des Moines too. We find that the schools are great, the people are nice, and the pace of life here fits our lifestyle. There are so many “city” things we get to experience without the high price tags or inconveniences larger cities bring. We enjoy our professional sports, concerts, farmer’s markets, parks, and activities that Des Moines offers.
Favorite local restaurant: Table 128
Best place to take kids: Mini golfing
Favorite summer activity: Road Trips to new places
What’s the last show you watched, thing you listened to, or book you read? I have been listening to the Office Ladies Podcast and just started reading their book The Office BFFs.
How/where do you relax? Anything with water—hot tub, bath, pool, water walking at Clive Aquatic Center
If your life had a hashtag, what would it be? #momsaresuperheroes
Connect with Katie
Know a Des Moines mom we should feature? Let us know! Email [email protected] with details and we will be in touch.