Biography

Amialya Durairaj
Photo by Nicholas Andrews from SD Headshots

My name is Amialya Durairaj, but you can call me Mia. I’m a health writer and communications consultant. I specialize in crafting communications about maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) and nutrition.

My unique benefit is my ability to marry the research/technical and communications worlds to deliver products that are both substantive and engaging. (But don’t just take my word for it— read my testimonials!)

Before starting Little Octopus LLC, I 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.

My writing has been published in The Washington Post, SF Gate, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, Food Tank, and the World Health Organization’s Survive and Thrive: Transforming Care for Every Small and Sick Newborns key findings report, among others. (Click here to see my portfolio.)

In 2015, I graduated with a Master of Science in Nutrition from George Mason University, where I was awarded a Provost’s Office research fellowship. (Check out a piece written about my original, mixed methods research of women of reproductive age in Uganda.)

I created Little Octopus after my life was transformed when my twins were born three months early. Because my daughter Ada was born with a congenital heart defect, my family spent more than two years in the hospital. Tragically, my daughter Ada passed away in September of 2019 at the age of two and a half. Please read her story here.

That is why I am now so passionate about devoting my professional talents to support vulnerable children and their families.

In addition to my consulting business, I’m also the Co-Creator of Mindful Return’s Balancing Career with a Special Needs Baby, the first program to address the needs of professional mothers of disabled, preterm, or medically fragile infants and toddlers.

My work has been featured in L.A. Parent, Houston Family Magazine, the Mama Bear Podcast, and Wolf + Friends. (Click here to see my “in the News” page.)