What drew you to the field you’re in?
While I was in graduate school for social work, I took a clinical class with Dr. Sarah Kye-Price. I learned so much about women’s health in that class. It was amazing to me the depth that comprises “women’s health,” and how shallow society is when they think about it. It’s not as cut and dry as abortion and reproductive rights. One of my first jobs after grad school was to implement the CenteringPregnancy© program with Planned Parenthood and a private physician’s office back when it was just starting to gain popularity. That experience was life changing and when I really knew my passion was working with pregnant and postpartum women.
What part of your daily work inspires you the most?
My inspiration comes when I speak with someone about maternal mental health issues and they have that “aha” moment that inspires them to speak about their experience or a loved one’s experience. That connection we make in sharing stories is unlike any other and it motivates me to continue to end the stigma and shed light on maternal mental health issues.
How can RVA keep moving forward as great place for childbearing families?
We need to make sure we collaborate with all stakeholders and are diverse in our outreach efforts. There are many areas of Richmond that do not have easy access to local health care sources, so we need to meet the clients where they are and have all resources readily available.
If you could share one piece of wisdom with childbearing families or professionals who serve them, what would it be?
It is important to actively listen whether we are professionals or families. It is important to honor each childbearing family’s story and remember that one solution doesn’t fit all. For childbearing families, remember that you have choices. Find the provider that you feel connected to and have real conversations with them.
Tell us about one of your favorite accomplishments.
Besides having two beautiful children and a supportive partner, one of my most favorite accomplishments is leading the local “Climb Out of the Darkness” event for the first time and having more than 30 participants. Many of them are people that have contacted me and shared their personal stories. They have stated they are grateful that I am sharing my personal story and how it has helped them realize that they are not alone.
REGISTER FOR FREE to join Abby on June 18 for the Richmond area Climb out of the Darkness walk, a family friendly event that shines a light on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders including postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety & OCD, postpartum PTSD, postpartum psychosis, bipolar/peripartum onset, and pregnancy depression and anxiety.
Climb Out Of Darkness
Saturday, June 18 at 9 am
Mid-Lothian Mines Park
13301 Woolridge Rd.
Midlothian, VA 23114
Recent stories featuring Abby:
Abby Dini is a local wife and mom to two beautiful boys and a passionate maternal health advocate. She earned her Masters degree in Social Work at VCU and currently works at a local nonprofit.
About Five Questions: Know someone who’s a mover and shaker in the maternal/infant health world in RVA? Nominate them for our Five Questions column by sending their name, email address, and a brief description of their work to info@NurtureRVA.org.