We’re excited to introduce our new partner, Dr. Heather Irobunda, a board certified obstetrician-gynecologist currently practicing at NYC Health and Hospitals. Dr. Irobunda is a champion for women’s wellness and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have the opportunity to share her expertise with the Rae community.

We love that you position yourself as an ambassador for wellness—what drew you to your field of work and focus on supporting women’s wellness?

I have always wanted to know how I could help women live their best lives. It sounds kind of cheesy but it’s true. Health and wellness has so much to do with how well we live. I noticed that so many women are dealing with tons of stress and craziness and usually put themselves last. They often worry about other people’s well-being before their own. In addition, many of us are not taught a lot about our bodies and how to take good care of them, so I wanted to help women do that!

We understand you’re also on a mission to empower women to make informed decisions about their health—why are you passionate about this mission?

Throughout my life, I have seen so many instances, as both a patient and a physician, where women have not been informed, in a digestible way, about what is going on with their health. Many times, doctors will use big words or analogies that most people don’t understand. This leads to leaving the doctor’s office or hospital confused and maybe even scared about what’s going on with your body. I’ve hated that feeling for myself, my family and my friends—really anyone. I think it can be even worse when it comes to women’s health because there is so much stigma and shame around things like vaginal health and periods. I want everyone who seeks medical care to feel strong enough to ask the questions, to understand the anatomy and to feel confident about their bodies.

As a busy professional, how do you support your well-being throughout the day?

I love to meditate. I take time out at the end of the day to do so. I used to think that it was a very ‘new age’ thing to do, but it has helped me let go of some of the stress for the day. I also try to hydrate as much as possible throughout the day because I feel so much better when I’m drinking the water that my body needs. I love to go on walks with my dog because it’s a way for me to both bond with her and get some fresh air and move!

What does ‘shine from inside’ mean to you?

When I think of ‘shine from inside,’ I think about glowing. Maybe not the glowing you may think about, like in a skincare sense. Glowing as in feeling good about yourself, by taking care of all your needs—physical, mental and emotional. When you have these things in order, you shine, girl! When you’re feeling good, we can all tell! When you take care of all aspects of yourself, it reflects in the way you smile, the way you walk, the way you talk, your aura.

Any advice for the Rae community?

You are the best person to know what you need. There are so many people out there who may tell you what you need to do, what you need to eat, what you need to wear, but you know yourself the best. You’ve lived in your body your whole life. You have been there for every experience you’ve had. It’s important that you honor your feelings and who you are always!