Global workplaces need global benefits. As HR leaders build their benefits ecosystem, equitable benefits should be top of mind to ensure that all employees get the family care they need, regardless of where they live. 

As the leading global platform for women’s and family health, Maven helps companies support employees around the world as they start and raise their families. Our newest cohort of global specialists are a key part of that mission, providing family building, maternity, and mental health support to members across the globe. We sat down with four of our new global providers, hailing from India, Japan, Spain, and Australia, to learn more about their work and why they’re excited to join Maven. 

Dr. Niranjana Jayakrishnan, MD, Maternity Care Provider at Maven

Tell us a little about your background and what made you interested in working in healthcare.

My interest in medicine started early. I come from a family of doctors, and I grew up seeing my dad, who was one of the first fertility specialists and laparoscopic surgeons in our state, work with his patients. He’d often come home and tell us a little bit about his day and what kinds of patients he helped. Hearing about how he supported people during vulnerable times in their lives—and seeing how much happiness he got from his work—drove home how fulfilling medicine could be. Growing up in this environment piqued my interest in medicine and healthcare, so I decided to go to school to become a doctor too.

As I studied the various fields of medicine during university, one area in particular ignited a spark in me: maternal and fetal medicine. There’s something very special about helping parents-to-be navigate their pregnancy journeys. I also enjoyed my training in surgery, and the natural intersection of these two interests is OB-GYN, which I felt was my calling.  

My work as an OB-GYN can be both challenging and joyful, but one of my favorite parts of the job is seeing couples’ joy when you place their newborn in their hands. There is truly little that compares. I’m fortunate that many of many patients come back to visit me years after giving birth to show me their children and how they’ve grown. It’s a wonderful feeling. 

Why did you decide to join Maven? What makes you most excited about working as a Maven provider?

What first drew me to Maven was the opportunity to expand my practice into virtual care. Telehealth consultations are booming in India right now, and I was very interested in exploring this increasingly popular side of care. When looking for platforms to join, I knew that I wanted one that was already established in the field and could provide the support and guidance needed to both providers like me and our patients. Maven was the perfect choice! 

In my opinion, one of the best parts of Maven is how easy it is for members to get answers to their pressing questions, without having to wait days or weeks to meet with a provider in-person. Questions, doubts, and fears during the family journey can be addressed with a touch of a button. Even though I’ve only been a Maven provider since September, I can already see the impact I’m making with Maven members in India. 

What is one thing you wish more people understood about maternity care in India?

Even though telehealth is becoming very popular in India, I wish that every mother was aware of and able to access virtual care. It can make such a difference for pregnant women—for example, imagine being able to meet with a provider same-day to ask questions about their diet during pregnancy without having to travel or wait at a busy doctor’s office. I hope more women in India understand the benefits of virtual care and are able to access telehealth consultations.

Takako Monuki (茂貫 尚子), Mental Health Provider at Maven, Clinical Psychologist, Yoga Therapist, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher

Tell us a little about your background and what made you interested in working in healthcare.

I started my career working for a sports marketing firm that represented some of the world's top athletes. Only a few months into my career, I experienced stress-induced facial paralysis. During this scary time, I understood for the first time the burden placed on the autonomic nervous system by stress. As a result, I became more interested in the connection between mind and body. I began to study mental health, yoga, and Ayurveda, learning Ayurvedic philosophy and techniques while living in India, as well as yoga as a form of therapy and mindfulness. In doing this work, I recognized the need to expand beyond alternative medicine, so I completed a graduate degree in clinical psychology and obtained national certification.

Currently, my clinical activities are based on psychosomatic correlation theory, which assumes that the mind and body are connected to each other. Specifically, in addition to traditional psychology methods, I offer Yoga Therapy, Mindfulness (MBSR), Craniosacral Therapy, and Ayurveda treatment. At a university hospital, I provide clinical care for chronic pain and fibromyalgia patients, and in the social work field, I support victims of domestic violence, children with developmental disabilities, and their parents. I also work in the corporate setting to support employee wellness and supportive caregivers.

Why did you decide to join Maven? What makes you most excited about working as a Maven provider?

When I learned about Maven’s work, I was impressed by the level of support the company provides for women and their families. Although it is becoming more common in Japan to take parental leave, companies rarely provide comprehensive fertility, maternity, and parenting care. Simply put, it’s still not common for caregivers to be cared for themselves, and the mental and physical burden on caregivers is a major social issue. 

Mental health support can help address this burden, and I’m excited to help provide that support to English- and Japanese-speaking parents and parents-to-be through Maven. I believe that Maven can help companies care for their employees as much as they care for their clients, leading to a broader societal shift in Japan and beyond. 

What is one thing you wish more people understood about mental health care in Japan?

I believe mental health care is about finding a way to live honestly and kindly with yourself.  Sometimes in efforts to advance at work or meet expectations set on us by our society in Japan, we get so far away from our true selves. Japanese people should know that if they are worried, impatient, anxious, or in pain, it is not because they are weak, but because they need to care for themselves more. I hope people will see mental health care through Maven as if they were taking their mind and body to a warm spa on the weekend.

Santiago Agustín, PhD, Surrogacy Coach at Maven

Tell us a little about your background and what made you interested in working in healthcare.

I’m a psychologist, and at the beginning of my career, I received a scholarship to do research on Spanish same-sex couples and their kids. I discovered surrogacy through that research. In Spain, surrogacy is stigmatized, and because of that, I had prejudices against the process. However, once I dove into my research, I learned more about the benefits of surrogacy. I saw the kinds of relationships that it can build between the expecting parents and their surrogate, and recognized that it could be a balanced, mutually beneficial relationship for everyone involved. Most importantly, I saw the happiness that surrogacy can bring to people who wouldn’t have been able to build their families otherwise. 

Because of this experience, I built my first company, Interfertility, to support potential parents along their surrogacy journey. We help them decide which countries to search for surrogates in, budget for the process, and navigate local and international laws. After several years, I started my own surrogacy agency, Gestacy, in partnership with some of the team that was already involved in Interfertility, which still operates today. At the agency, we directly connect surrogates with potential parents to help them meet their mutual goal of building a family. Once we find a good match between parents and surrogate, we support them through the entire journey—the prenatal appointments, the legal requirements, the contracts, and more. Our goal is to be their go-to partner for every stage of the surrogacy process and help reduce some of the stress surrounding the experience. 

Why did you decide to join Maven? What makes you most excited about working as a Maven provider?

I was excited to join Maven because my current role managing Gestacy doesn’t give me much time to do surrogacy coaching, and it’s something I very much enjoyed doing earlier in my career. Maven members meet with me because they’re looking for someone who knows the field and who can help them understand their needs. 

I find that many members aren’t asking me to tell them which agency to use or which country to look for a surrogate in. Instead, I help them identify what kind of surrogacy experience they want and educate them on the differences in regulations, legalities, budget, and culture among the many different surrogacy options. We’ll also work together to create a list of questions to help them vet agencies and surrogates when they’re ready.  It’s really nice to be able to help all these members understand and navigate an often complex and overwhelming process. 

What is one thing you wish more people understood about surrogacy in Spain?

I wish more people in Spain would let go of their prejudices and understand that surrogacy is a wonderful experience for many people. Of course, it’s an amazing experience for the potential parents, but it’s very positive for the surrogate, as well. 

Part of what makes it a positive experience is potential parents putting in the effort to support and uplift the surrogate. I tell clients that you should be proud of the way that you built your family, and that starts with caring for the surrogate throughout their journey. 

Emery Shi, Fertility Care Provider at Maven

Tell us a little about your background and what made you interested in working in healthcare.

I started working as a nurse in Australia 10 years ago and have spent the last five years specializing in fertility nursing. As a fertility nurse, I meet with parents-to-be every day to help guide them through their fertility journey, whether they’re trying to conceive naturally or seeking support through assisted reproductive technology (ART). 

I love being a nurse, because every member approaches me with different needs and challenges, and it’s incredibly fulfilling to support them along their fertility journeys. As a fertility care provider, I know that each client’s path through parenthood is unique and sometimes difficult. Knowing that my advice and coaching can make a tangible difference as they navigate this very special phase of life feels very rewarding and empowering. 

Why did you decide to join Maven? What makes you most excited about working as a Maven provider?

I’m excited to join Maven for two main reasons. First, as someone who is passionate about women’s and reproductive health, I love that I can use Maven as a platform to provide better care to parents-to-be as they navigate their fertility journey. As Maven continues to grow and expand globally, I look forward to sharing my expertise with more members across Australia. It’s great knowing that I can help a much wider range of people through Maven’s virtual care platform than I can through only providing local, in-person care. 

Second, Maven’s flexibility is an added advantage for me. I have young children, and the flexible schedule I’m able to work on Maven means that I can have a healthier work-life balance and get to enjoy more time with my family. 

What is one thing you wish more people understood about fertility care in Australia?

Navigating fertility treatments in Australia can be complex, and the complexities start with the number of different clinics and specialists available to Australians. There are many fertility companies in Australia and hundreds of fertility specialists working for those clinics.  Each specialist will have a different approach to fertility and the recommended treatments.

I think it’s very important for people to come prepared with questions when meeting with a fertility specialist, so they can get a good idea of how they view fertility care. Don’t be afraid to vet several different providers until you find one that best aligns with your needs. I also suggest looking into the success rates of each clinic before choosing which one to go with.  

Through our network of providers, Care Advocates, and partner clinics, Maven is actively expanding its international capabilities and reach. To find out how you can help change the health of the world, check out our careers page. To find out more about Maven’s global care capabilities, request a demo today.

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