To the Mom With the Potty Training Toddler in the Public Bathroom

When he screams he is NOT going on this potty, I can envision what I'm hearing as you're desperately trying to wrangle a half undressed, angry child in a dirty metal box the size of a sardine can.

When the automatic flush goes off before he's finished, I feel the tension and frustration as you try to calm him and tell him he will in fact not get flushed down.

When he peeks his head under the stall at me and you try to pull him back without him throwing himself onto the floor, I hear the embarrassment and desperation in your voice as you profusely apologize.

As you go to wash your hands and he insists he can do it himself, then gets soap on his sleeve and cries that he wants a new shirt, I see you forcing yourself to keep it together.

When you pull his hands back into the water because he hasn't gotten all the soap off himself and he gets angry, I feel the daggers as shouts "I don't like you anymore!" Even though we both know he doesn't mean it, I see you avoiding eye contact because you're struggling and on the verge of tears and don't want me to see it.

I know you think I'm judging you.

But what I see is a mom, who challenges her child to learn new things, and is teaching him to be independent and care for himself.

I see a three year old being a three year old. Not a naughty, or defiant, or awful three year old, just being a three year old! A three year old who is learning to navigate a confusing world of norms, emotions, rules, and strange exceptions to the rules that don't make sense to his three year old mind.

And you taught me something today.

You taught me that even though it felt like a million years struggling in that bathroom, that patience and calm got you through much faster than anger and frustration.

You reminded me that this too shall pass.

To the mom with the potty training toddler in the public bathroom: since I know you don't feel it, I wanted to tell you that you are doing a great job.

Authored by: Trish Morfitt

5 Facts You Should Know About Newborn Sleep

After I delivered my firstborn, I received around-the-clock attention from doctors and nurses. But, when it was time to leave the hospital and go home, I remember asking my favorite nurse, "Will you come home with me?" and I truly meant it!

I had so many questions and I was overwhelmed by my lack on answers.

One of the most pressing questions with a new baby is how to handle sleep. Everyone has heard stories about how once you have a baby, you will never sleep again, among many other myths and wives' tales about infant sleep. As a child sleep consultant, and a mom who chose to prioritize sleep, I discovered that sleep is a learned skill.

Here are some facts about sleep that can help you navigate this new world:

Fact #1: Newborns should NOT be sleeping through the night.
A newborn's circadian rhythm* is not developed, nor are their stomachs large enough to go without eating for more than a few hours at a time. It is completely normal for your baby to have his days and nights confused and to sleep/wake in frequent but random patterns. To help them develop this rhythm, you can start to organize their sleep by keeping it light during the day and by maintaining normal household volume; while keeping it dark and minimizing activity during nightly feedings and diaper changes.

*Circadian rhythm: The physical, mental, and behavioral changes that roughly follow a 24-hour cycle, and respond mainly to light and darkness.

Fact #2: Newborns do NOT have the skills to self-soothe or cope. They must learn these skills from their parent(s) or guardian.
Newborn babies don't have many ways to communicate with us, so they typically cry when they need something or are unhappy. They also spent the last 38-40ish weeks being cuddled and rocked to sleep. Meeting your baby's needs by creating a routine that includes holding, comforting, feeding, and placing her on her back to sleep will make her feel secure and happy so she can continue to develop properly and will eventually learn healthy sleep habits on her own.

Fact #3: Newborns need A LOT of sleep.
New babies need 16-20 hours of sleep each day. This sleep starts off as approximately two-hour stretches followed by 30-60-minute periods of being awake. As baby grows and develops in the first six months of life, the frequency of waking and sleep will slow and baby will spend longer stretches during the day awake, and longer stretches at night asleep. 
Eventually, baby will stay awake most of the day with a few naps in between and will stay mostly asleep throughout the night with a few short periods of being awake.

Fact #4: Babies show cues and meet sleep milestones that can help you establish routines.
Between the ages of 6-8 weeks, baby begins to show more signs of being aware of his surroundings, and has begun to learn facial expressions along with other social cues. Watching for these things can help you determine what your baby's needs are. Around this age is a good time to establish consistent routines surrounding bedtime such as putting baby to bed at the same time each night.

Fact #5: Every baby is different and we can help you navigate what works best for your family.
Despite the facts about sleep it is important to understand that every baby is different! Every baby reaches milestones at different times and every baby needs different things from their parent(s) or guardian. Our individualized sleep consulting services will instill confidence in you and help you to learn to read you baby's cues while also establishing some solid routines that work best for your baby, and your family.

***Stay tuned for an announcement about our NEW newborn sleep class that is scheduled launched early this summer!***

As a mom of four children, I too went through these struggles and found myself unsure and worried at times. With the right tools and support, I was able to find a solution that works best for our family, and I am confident you will too. If you find yourself needing some extra support, knowledge, and guidance, please don't hesitate to reach out as I would love to help.

Authored by: Audrey McCoy, Certified Child Sleep Consultant- SleepWell Baby
Edited by: Kaity Klotzbach

For more information about the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) safe sleep recommendations click HERE
To schedule a FREE 15-minute phone consult with Audrey McCoy, please contact her at

Northeast Iowa Doulas | Celebrating National Nurses Week | Meet a L&D Nurse/Patient Educator

It's National Nurses Week!

In celebration of National Nurses week we are featuring some of the best nurses Eastern Iowa has to offer. As this special week comes to a close, we are so excited to introduce this wonderful nurse to you.

Tracey Huinker is a registered nurse (RN) and works at Allen Women's Health in Waterloo. She works in the clinical setting as a patient educator and also works as a labor and delivery nurse at Unity Point-Allen Hospital on an as-needed basis. 
I have known Tracey for several years now and she is one of the most kind and nurturing women I have ever met. She is such a joy to be around, and her smile lights up the room. 

If you haven't had the opportunity to meet Tracey yet, you're missing out!

NEID-Kaity: How long have you been a nurse? Where did you attend school?

Tracey: I started my college education with a Bachelor's Degree in Women's Health Promotion at UNI. After being a sexual health educator for a year, I decided I wanted more direct care with patients and went back to school at Hawkeye Community College for my RN degree. I still can't believe it, but in July, I will have been a nurse for 11 years.

NEID-Kaity: What inspired you to become a nurse?

Tracey: I would say "technically" my internship through UNI really sparked my interest in a career in nursing. Although, I think subconsciously, my mother played a huge role! She was a labor and delivery nurse for years and continues to practice as a women's health ARNP.

NEID-Kaity: How did you become interested in this line of nurse work?

Tracey: Besides my mother, I really think my internship in college drove me to birth work. Part of my internship was attending a variety of childbirth classes, because many childbirth educators at that time had Health Promotion degrees. I remember being so fascinated by everything! I probably attended 10-15 classes, and they all covered the same basic material, but I remember learning something new at each class. I just LOVED it! 
Now I really appreciate how birth can transform women and hopefully give them strength to conquer other challenges in life.

NEID-Kaity: What do you enjoy most about being a L&D nurse and working in the Women's Health Clinic?

Tracey: My roles in the clinic and L&D are very different, but I love them both! I feel like working as a L&D nurse really "fills my bucket", I guess. Welcoming new babies (and parents) into this world is such a pleasure and honor. In the clinic setting, I have the privilege of sitting down with women one-on-one during their pregnancy for educational sessions. I really enjoy getting to know clinic patients throughout their pregnancy and helping them develop a plan for their birth and for when they bring baby home from the hospital. Of course, the best is when I have the opportunity to care for my clinic patient during their labor!

NEID-Kaity: What do you find to be the most challenging part of your job?

Tracey: Although pregnancy, birth, and parenthood are all amazing and can bring so much joy, not everyone is so fortunate. We encounter a lot of tough situations as nurses and sometimes there's not a lot we can do about it. I think sometimes the most challenging part of nursing is just not having the answers for families when they ask, "Why me?"

NEID-Kaity: More expecting parents in the area are hiring out the professional support services of a birth doula and/or postpartum & infant care doula. How do you feel about that?

Tracey: Doulas are amazing! We know that women and families who choose doulas, often have healthier outcomes at their birth and a more positive perspective of their experience. Having worked briefly as a birth doula myself, I definitely appreciate how hard it is to be in that role! It is a demanding profession which requires a vast knowledge of the birth process, a strong work ethic, and a deep dedication to their clients. As a L&D nurse, I love working and learning alongside doulas!

NEID-Kaity: What is one thing you always say to your patients?

Tracey: I think the one thing I always tell patients is to trust their intuition. Each pregnancy and birth is so unique that it really can boggle your mind if you constantly compare pregnancies or birth stories looking for the "right answer" or what is "normal." 

NEID-Kaity: What advice would you give an expecting parent as they are approaching their due date?

Tracey: Oh those last weeks! (I remember them all too well!) I try to encourage patience, but I know that is really easier said than done. I guess I also encourage moms to enjoy those last weeks, if at all possible. Enjoy every last little twist and turn of baby, every last hiccup they do. Soon this pregnancy will just be another memory tucked away.

NEID-Kaity: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Tracey: Well, I'm a wife and mother of three, so my free time is usually spent in the sand box or playing dinosaurs! I guess I would also say I'm a political junkie and I also enjoy know...during all my down-time away from the kiddos! :-)

NEID-Kaity: What is your favorite food?

Tracey: Just one?? Hmm....let's just say sweets. Any form. :-)

NEID-Kaity: Please share a favorite memory with us about a time at work.

Tracey: Oh wow, I have definitely been blessed with many great memories from my patients and great co-workers! I think the best, though, is being able to care for a family with their subsequent births. 
Having formed that relationship during their first birth and being able to jump back into it with a second delivery is just so great. Having that connection with a family really helps create a peaceful, beautiful experience for everyone.

Thank you so much for taking the time to be interviewed, Tracey. We appreciate the knowledge, experience and expertise you offer new and expecting families in the Cedar Valley and are so grateful to have the honor of working alongside you. 
Happy National Nurses Week!

Northeast Iowa Doulas | Celebrating National Nurses Week | Meet a Children's Health Nurse

It's National Nurses Week!

In honor of this special week, we are featuring some of the fantastic nurses in Northeast Iowa

Meet Brenda Carradus. She is a registered nurse (RN) at Child Health Specialty Clinics in Oelwein, specializing in Iowa children and youth with special health care needs.

Brenda has touched the lives of so many Eastern Iowa families and has made such a positive impact in her community. Her co-workers say she is friendly, loving, caring, and has a great sense of humor.

We are so excited to introduce Brenda to you today!

NEID-Kaity: How long have you been a nurse? Where did you attend school?

Brenda: I have been a nurse for 40 years and attended school at Clinton Community Junior College.

NEID-Kaity: What inspired you to become a nurse?

Brenda: I have always enjoyed science, psychology, and health-related classes and felt becoming a nurse would challenge me in these areas.

NEID-Kaity: How did you become interested in this line of nurse-work?

Brenda: I had been a school nurse for 11 years and thought this line of nursing would allow me to focus more on the special needs of children and families.

NEID-Kaity: What do you enjoy most about being a nurse in this specialty field?

Brenda: Interaction with families and community partners.

NEID-Kaity: What do you find to be the most challenging part of your job?

Brenda: Helping families be the best they can be by accepting the challenges and jumping the hurdles. 

NEID-Kaity: What is one thing you always say to your patients who are expecting or who currently have small children?

Brenda: "Focus on the day and be patient. Time flies and children grow quickly."
"Enjoy the little things and don't be in a hurry for the next stage in life."

NEID-Kaity: What advice would you give to any new parent or soon-to-be new parent?

Brenda: Don't expect everything to be good all the time. Parenting is the hardest and most frustrating job you will ever have; it can also be the most satisfying. 

NEID-Kaity: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Brenda: I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren, doing yard-work, and DIY projects.

NEID-Kaity: What is your favorite food?

Brenda: Dark chocolate...Is chocolate a food group yet? :-)

NEID-Kaity: Please share a favorite memory with us about a time at work.

Brenda: The best memories I have are when I see families we have discharged, sometimes a year or more later. They greet me like an old friend and tell me how well their child is doing. Success stories are wonderful!

Thank you for your time, Brenda. We appreciate you taking time out of your busy work day to be interviewed. It is very clear that you love the work you do, and the families you have the opportunity to work with.
Thank you for all you have done and all you continue to do.
Happy National Nurses Week!

RESULTS: "Share the Love" Diaper Drive

For the one in three families in the Cedar Valley struggling with diaper need, life is about to get a little easier. This is all thanks to the generosity of area businesses and individuals who made the “Share the Love” Diaper Drive hosted by our team at Northeast Iowa Doulas a monumental success.

The diaper drive, which was scheduled to run from February 6th through the 24th, was extended a week due to requests from several of the businesses who volunteered as drop-off sites for the diaper and wipe donations.

We are so excited to announce that due to the community efforts, this drive has collected over 10,000 DIAPERS and over 52 packages of wipes!!!! 

Since this was our first year facilitating this drive, and a grassroots effort, we weren’t sure what kind of response we would have. We set a goal of two-thousand diapers, and were absolutely astonished, and so happy to surpass that goal five times over.

Diaper need is a real, often unaddressed issue in the Cedar Valley, with the effects reaching much farther than the obvious health risks to the children and the financial strain on families. On Wednesday, March 8th, the NEID team made stops at several area women's shelters and other organizations that provide assistance to families in need, including:

House of Hope - Waterloo
Cedar Valley Friends of the Family - Waverly
Allen Women's Health - Waterloo

Each location took exactly what they needed and had storage room for. They expressed their gratitude multiple times and look forward to hearing from us again next year. They all assured us that each one of these diapers and wipes will be put to use. It was amazing to see the looks on their faces as we brought in box after box, bag after bag, box after bag, after box....
This is the exact reason why we decided to facilitate the "Share the Love" Diaper Drive.

THANK YOU, Cedar Valley community and other neighboring communities, for helping make this diaper drive a huge success. This wouldn’t have been as successful without the support of local businesses who joined us in this effort by being a donation drop-off site, and by helping us spread the word about the drive. Most importantly, we wouldn't have been able to deliver 10,000+ diapers without each one of YOU who took the time to bring in your donation!

Area businesses who volunteered to be donation drop-off locations included:

Partners in OBGYN at Covenant Medical Center - Waterloo
Vanderloo Chiropractic - Waterloo
Key West Fitness on University - Cedar Falls
Family Health Chiropractic - Waterloo
Rejuvenate Salon & Spa - Waterloo
Inspired Living Chiropractic - Jesup

NEID Owner, Kaity Klotzbach with Dusky Steele, Development Coordinator at House of Hope in Waterloo

NEID Owner, Kaity Klotzbach with Dusky Steele, Development Coordinator at House of Hope in Waterloo

Affiliate NEID Doulas, Jessica Lake and Justine Liddle with NEID Owner, Kaity Klotzbach at Cedar Valley Friends of the Family in Waverly.

Affiliate NEID Doulas, Jessica Lake and Justine Liddle with NEID Owner, Kaity Klotzbach at Cedar Valley Friends of the Family in Waverly.

Seeing the amazing response, we plan to make the "Share the Love" Diaper Drive an annual event. Next year we plan to set an even higher goal!

Once again, thank you to all the area businesses who volunteered to be donation drop-off sites and to every single one of you who donated to this very important cause. We are so grateful for your support and generosity.

Are you a Cedar Valley area business and interested in being part of "Share the Love" Diaper Drive in 2018? Email Kaity Klotzbach at

'Share the Love' Diaper Drive




Imagine having to cut back on basic necessities like food in order to provide diapers for your baby. For one in three families in the Cedar Valley, diaper need is a regular struggle.

But Northeast Iowa Doulas (NEID) is looking to ease that burden on area families with a diaper drive. 

“The average baby uses 6-10 diapers per day in their first year of life, which adds up fast and can be a huge financial burden on many families,” said Kaity Klotzbach, owner and doula at NEID. “Our goal is to help as many local families as we can so they don’t have to deal with the stress of choosing food or diapers.”  

The “Share the Love Diaper Drive” will take place on February 6 through 24. Donations of unopened disposable diapers and/or wipes in any size and brand can be taken to one of the event’s partner business drop off locations. All donations will be collected by Northeast Iowa Doulas and delivered to area women’s shelters for distribution to families in need. 

“A lack of resources for diapers not only causes emotional stress, but studies show that the health and development of children left in wet and soiled diapers is negatively affected and the impact extends far beyond that,” stated Klotzbach citing a study from the Journal of Pediatrics. “Without enough clean diapers babies cannot attend child care or early childhood education programs, and if they can’t attend those programs at least one of their parents cannot go to work - compounding financial need,“ she added. “Even providing a month’s worth of diapers to a family can have a profound impact on them.”

Donation drop off locations include:

  •     Partners in OBGYN - Waterloo
  •     Family Health Chiropractic - Waterloo
  •     Key West Fitness on University - Cedar Falls
  •     Vanderloo Chiropractic - Waterloo
  •     Rejuvenate Salon & Spa - Waterloo
  •      Inspired Living Chiropractic - Jesup


Northeast Iowa Doulas is a full-service agency offering professional birth and postpartum support services, and childbirth classes to families across Eastern Iowa. For more information, contact Kaity Klotzbach at 319-361-6984 or send an email to

8 Tips For Having Great Sex After Baby

1.  Wait. Or don’t. It is up to you!
You should follow your care provider’s instructions and wait at least 6 weeks after delivery (both vaginal and cesarean) to ensure you don’t cause any additional trauma to your incision or repairs to your perineum. But other than that, there’s no specific time when you * should * have sex again – it should just be when you feel comfortable enough to try.

2.  Try not to let insecurity get in the way.
Feeling comfortable again means different things for different women. Your lady parts or cesarean incision might be healed; but you might feel self-conscious about your stomach, your breasts, or your spit-up-covered-haven’t-showered-in-days hair. Cut yourself a little slack and own your postpartum body for everything magical it is and has done! If you feel more comfortable dimming the lights, that's always an option as well.

3.  Set the mood.
If you’ve hired one of our overnight postpartum and infant care doulas, you’ve already been getting sleep. If not, you might feel a little frazzled from caring for your baby all day…and all night. Either way, take some time to get in the mood however you like best. Put on some music, light some candles, draw a bath, pour a glass of your favorite wine, or swap neck and shoulder massages with your partner.

4.  Protection.
You just had a baby, and while some couples want babies close together, the first time you have sex after your new baby is probably not the best time to get pregnant again – but it happens! Just because you might not have a regular period yet doesn’t mean you can’t ovulate. If you haven’t talked about birth control with your care provider, it's a good idea to make sure you have a barrier method on hand.

5.  Lube, Lube, Lube...and More Lube.
Hormone changes in your body can make your body’s natural response to arousal happen differently than it has in the past. Using lubrication can help things go smoothly.

6.  Take the advice of Prince – ♫ tonight is the night for making slow love ♫.
Take it slooooow when you have sex the first time post baby. This isn’t the time for a quickie. Give your body a chance to adjust, and try out different positions if you’re uncomfortable.

7.  Don’t set expectations.
Sex the first time after baby might be painless, magical and amazing! On the other hand, it's possible that it might be painful, making it stressful and frustrating. Taking things one step at a time and making sure you’re comfortable is important so you are able to stay relaxed and so sex continues to be fun. Don’t feel discouraged if things don’t go the way you anticipated because…{see number 8}…

8.  Sex isn’t always defined the same.
There are plenty of ways you can be intimate with your partner that do not involve traditional “sex.” If you’re not feeling it, find something you ARE feeling that you can both enjoy and can agree on!

Authored by: Trish Morfitt
Edited by: Kaity Klotzbach

How I Slept Through the Night, Even With a Newborn!
(Guest Blog)

"Sleep when the baby sleeps!” Yeah right. Every new and seasoned mom has heard this tidbit of knowledge when bringing home a new baby; I’m no exception. Even on baby number three well-meaning friends and family told me this. Sure it’s a great idea, but hardly practical. My husband didn’t get paternity leave, and all our family lives out of town. So I was right back to the same household duties that I had pre-newborn baby: 

-laundry to do
-suppers to make
-lunches to pack
-dishes to wash
-homework to help with
-a dog to walk

You get the picture.

I had all of this work to do while caring for and breastfeeding a new daughter while recovering from her birth. I was fortunate to not have anything major to recover from, but even an ‘easy’ labor and delivery are no joke! Add to that returning to work on the horizon, and the sleep deprivation and stress adds up fast.  

I attended an event looking for a chiropractor for my baby, and met Kaity Klotzbach, owner of Northeast Iowa Doulas. She told me all about postpartum care, and I’ll be the first to tell you I was hesitant. I was concerned what people would think, or even what the doulas would think of my parenting choices, but I’ll also be the first to tell you I was SO wrong and it was SO worth it! Not only did Kaity match me up with Kelly, a postpartum doula who was perfect for our family, but they all supported every decision I made without making me feel bad or wrong about it. I’m terribly sad I didn’t know these magical people existed 10 years ago when I had my first baby! 

I was breastfeeding and using a co-sleeping crib, which was going well - but I usually went to bed much later than my kids, and got up much earlier. This was because I was trying to get all the other household tasks done while I had longer uninterrupted breaks. Having an overnight doula allowed me to go to bed and wake up at reasonable times, because she took care of many of the light household chores for me - folding laundry, washing dishes, and meal prepping. On a couple occasions when my daughter was fussy and just wanted to be held, Kelly stepped in and kept her happy until she needed to nurse again, allowing me to sleep. After one particularly rough night, I woke up that morning surprised {and admittedly a bit panicked} to have slept in quite late - only to find my doula had gotten my other two kids up and fed and ready for school! 

Getting a full night of sleep, even a few nights a week, made me feel so much happier and healthier - physically and emotionally. Our overnight postpartum doula took immense stress off me, allowing me to actually enjoy bonding with my new baby and having extra quality time with my other kids and husband! This was going to be our last baby - but knowing what I know now about postpartum doula support, another baby would be a breeze!

Are you ready to get more sleep during the night so you can be well-rested and ready to take on the day ahead? Take the next step by contacting Northeast Iowa Doulas at (319) 361-6984 or to learn more. You and your entire family will be so happy you did!

Authored by: Trish Morfitt, Waterloo, Iowa

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