Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Malorie Thurman

Posted July 02, 2015 by Malorie Thurman

Malorie Thurman and Son
Malorie Thurman and her son, Cole.

Malorie Thurman, a mother of three, shares why she joined the Texas Ten Step Star Achiever Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative as a parent partner.

I had two unsuccessful attempts at breastfeeding with my first two pregnancies.

I was very young when I had my first baby, Kennedy. I just did not have the proper education on the many benefits of breastfeeding. My second baby, Kayden, came at 36 weeks. While more educated, there were many obstacles—an emergency cesarean and Kayden in the NICU for 5 days—that hindered by ability to breastfeed. Maybe it was the stress of it all; not to mention I had an 11-month-old when he was born! I tried everything I could do to get my milk to come in and failed. For whatever reason, it just did not work. I had to give Kayden formula.

When I remarried, my husband and I struggled for a few long years to get pregnant. When we finally had our third baby (first baby together) some 8 years later, I already knew the financial burden of formula from the older babies. I knew the nutritional value of breastmilk. I was older and had the determination and the drive to give the very best to this baby that I possibly could. I was going to breastfeed. Period. There was NO other option.

My birthing experience with Cole was second to none. I had the best doctor, wonderful nurses, an amazing husband and support team, and I felt like I was a pro having done this twice already. We had a vaginal birth after cesarean delivery, went skin-to-skin immediately after birth, and I let Cole initiate breastfeeding on his terms. By all definitions, it was the perfect textbook delivery at Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital. I had never felt as empowered as a woman as I did in those moments.

Paying it Forward
Almost a year after Cole was born, I was asked by Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital to be a parent partner for the Texas Ten Step Star Achiever Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative. I did not hesitate to accept the invitation. I was to be the voice of mothers and provide the team with valuable insight as to what mothers are looking for when they come to our facility to deliver.

I wanted to be an advocate for "textbook" deliveries like mine, which begins in the prenatal stages with proper education. I know not every delivery is as easy as my third, however, this was a way for me to at least see that mothers are given the best possibility to experience the outcome they desire with their delivery. This was my opportunity to give back to those who had been so helpful to me and my family.

With the collaborative, came the opportunity to facilitate a new mother breastfeeding support group. It brings together local mothers on a weekly basis to discuss the everyday happenings of motherhood. This has become a big part of my involvement as parent partner and I hold it very near and dear to my heart. It is a wonderful feeling knowing you have been an intricate part of such amazing changes that will impact so many people in and around your community.

Intrigued? Learn more about NICHQ's breastfeeding initiatives, the value of parent partners and read other "Why I Participate" stories.


Add your comment





infant health safe sleep IM CoIIN QI quality improvement flexibility family partner parent partner vision screening nichq perinatal quality measures sustainabilty preterm birth Baby-Friendly breastfeeding Pediatric journal Best Fed Beginnings tips PDSA cycle baby box infant mortality family engagement eccs coiin immunizations health equity health disparities accreditation astho onboarding collaboration engagement partnerships larc nashp new york wic new york state hospitals mom mother partners epilepsy data AAP early childhood pdsas texas community support learning session children's health new technology engineering transgender collaborative learning planning PDSA planning paralysis underplanning analysis paralysis vision eye health smoking smoke-free housing second-hand smoke toolkit e-module dental care oral health underserved populations health inequity public health Maternal and Child Health Journal leadership engagement Sickle cell disease indiana SCD medicaid perinatal regionalization sudden infant death syndrome national birth defects prevention month birth defects pregnancy planning one key question prepregnancy health preconception health public breastfeeding support families patients experts insights CHOPT childhood obesity innovation food desert telemedicine TBLC breastfeeding supporting prematurity racial disparities audiology ehdi follow-up illinois talana hughes vulnerable populations sports asthma soccer basketball obesity football SIDS Pokemon Go gamification smartphones interconception care birth spacing issue brief contraceptive use postpartum care CoIN HRSA early childhood trauma NHSA community health consumer advocacy womens health interconception health teenage health PATCH wisconsin missouri risk appropriate care community health workers SCD< infographic infant mortality awareness month inspirations childrens health national breastfeeding month maternal health patient engagement hearing loss hearing treatment pediatric vision eyesight pre-term birth early-term birth SCD clinic los angeles LOCATe CDC levels of care neonatal care maternal care smoking cessation project safe sleep practices neonatal abstinence syndrome NAS opioids maternal and child health MCH Family voices quality care mental health hydroxyurea SCDTDP men dads testing change data sharing state government city government apps sleep AJPM preconception care senior leadership breastfeeding support video series access BQIH exclusive breastfeeding long-acting reversible contraception unplanned pregnancies social determinants of health health innovations Best Babies Zone CoIIN baby boxes Rhode Island progesterone rooming-in patient and family engagement healthy weight healthy lifestyles primary care telementoring ECHO video conferencing socioemotional health childhood development pediatric Tennessee interview National Coordinating and Evaluation Center medical-legal partnerships mobile app disparities perinatal care overweight obese healthy weight clinic wellness pilot sites data collection education resources paternal engagement risk-appropriate care preterm infants high-risk babies Ten Steps public relations social movement reversible contraceptives medical home pediatric medical home patient transformation facilitator PTF skin-to-skin rooming in prenatal smoking information visualization charts SUID postpartum new mother webinar AMCHP QI Tips ongoing improvement fourth trimester partnership quality and safety coaching leadership support year end holiday message reflections gratitute Medicaid data doctor relationship PQC perinatal quality collaboratives vision care vision health evidence-based guidelines ASH health and wellness healthy living healthy eating home visitors home visiting programs March of Dimes APHA results evaluation supplementation formula reduction video infant loss social media advocacy leadership Berns Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding sustainability stress prenatal care data capacity epidemiologists surveillance data PFAC community partners preconception and interconception care motivational interviewing Native Americans ADHD NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Scale ADHD Toolkit system design care coordination skin to skin newborn screening reduce smoking aim statement safe birth Texas Ten Step skin-to-skin contact 10 Steps staff training small tests acute care mother-baby couplet collective impact population health preconception Newborn Screening Program substance abuse breast milk formula milk bank crisis first responders NYC improvement healthcare health system sickle cell diease treatment protocol family health partner maternity care Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network Health Outcomes Cross-Sector Collaboration Knowledge Sharing Child Health