Read Mia’s Washington Post article about special needs parenthood and leadership!

Amialya (Mia) Durairaj, MSc, helps new moms of special needs children incorporate their newfound identities as parent advocates with their desire for fulfilling careers. As the co-creator and moderator of Mindful Return’s Balancing Career with Special Needs Baby, Mia strongly believes that the intricacies of parenting a preterm, disabled, or medically fragile child is excellent leadership training.

Based in beautiful San Diego, CA, Mia is the proud mom of 2-year old identical twin girls who were born three months early. One of her daughter’s congenital heart defect and respiratory issues resulted in a 14-month stay in the children’s hospital.  

As a writing consultant and owner of Little Octopus LLC, Mia specializes in creating maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) and nutrition content for non-profit and academic clients.

Before cutting her teeth as a freelancer, Mia worked in health communications and knowledge management roles for large non- and for-profit organizations such as Save the Children, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Aetna, and UnitedHealth Group.

Mia has a Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Studies from George Mason University. (Check out some pieces written about her research of women of reproductive age in Uganda here and here.) She has published in the The Washington Post, Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, Food Tank, Healthy Newborn Network, and Hand to Hold.

When she isn’t writing or carting her adorable twins to their zillions of medical appointments, Mia enjoys drinking an inadvisable amount of black coffee and serving as the Cardiac Family Advisory Co-Chair for the Rady Children’s Hospital.

Balancing Career With a Special Needs Baby


Take Mindful Return's Balancing Career with a Special Needs Baby to navigate the path toward becoming a working mom of a premature, intellectually or developmentally disabled, and/or medically fragile infant or toddler.


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Our Gift To You

At Mindful Return, we know that calm, thoughtful planning, and time for reflection, are keys to success in working parent life. Our FREE guide, 99 Questions to Ask Yourself Before, During, and After Maternity Leave, is our gift to you and your new bundle of joy.

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