Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Malorie Thurman
Posted July 02, 2015 by Malorie Thurman
|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