Justine's Journey

Justine Leach cuddling with her son who is meeting his little brother for the first time

Everything changed after the birth of my two children, one in 2014 and one in 2017. I had been pursuing a career in academia and I completed my Ph.D. on representations of sexual consent and trauma while I was pregnant with my second son. Then, after his birth, I got the opportunity to talk about my birth experiences and how to best support survivors of sexual trauma during pregnancy and birth at a workshop at Newton Wellesley Hospital in Newton MA, attended by midwives, nurses, and other birth professionals. With my eyes opened to the unrecognized and unmet needs of survivors in the medical system, I switched careers. 

I, alongside my cofounder Sarah Adelmann, a grief and trauma counsellor, decided to form an organization called Resilient Birth. This organization is dedicated to supporting all survivors of trauma in their journey to parenthood. I am certifying as a childbirth educator through the Boston Association of Childbirth Educators so that I can support survivors as they navigate the momentous transition to parenthood. 

This career change may seem like a dramatic shift in direction, but in actual fact I find myself following a path that ties together my professional and my personal life. This work unites my expertise as an academic, my experience as a teacher, and my knowledge of the profound changes and challenges of parenthood. The rightness of this move has become increasingly apparent. Door after door has opened. And at every turn, the universe has whispered "yes, this is what you are to do with your life - this is the your calling."