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Woman of Influence: Marjory McClure, Wonderfully Made

Written by Amelia Rhodes on . Posted in Local

Marjory PictureIn 1992 Marjory McClure, of Wonderfully Made, was inspired to develop a faith-based childbirth education program after overhearing nurses discussing such a program at a childbirth education conference. "From 1992-1996, I was busy raising a family, but I compiled information and began to transform the traditional childbirth program to Wonderfully Made," McClure explained. The Wonderfully Made program includes all the elements of a traditional childbirth program, but weaves in spiritual elements with scripture, prayer, and meditation.

McClure recalled how she had taken childbirth prep classes for her two pregnancies. "I felt some of the things in the classes instilled more fear than confidence in me, and I felt something was missing." As she began to develop the Wonderfully Made program, McClure wanted to incorporate the joy and sanctity of childbirth into the program bringing in the component of God's presence in labor and birth.

Wonderfully Made first began in 1997 in Kalamazoo in partnership with another organization. In 2000 McClure made contact with Borgess Medical Center, and they adopted the program as one of their childbirth programs and hired McClure as an independent contractor to teach the course.

McClure can see how God prepared her to begin the Wonderfully Made ministry. She has taught childbirth education since 1986, working with Kalamazoo Association for Prepared Childbirth and Borgess Health. She also went through the training program with the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA), and is a certified doula.

McClure graduated from Western Michigan University with a B.S. degree in home economics in nutrition. "There was a huge amount of course requirements for family and child development and human sexuality. I laughed when I took them thinking, 'why do I need to know all this stuff?'" McClure can see how those courses played a large influential role in preparing her for her work today with Wonderfully Made.

A year and a half ago, McClure retired from Portage Schools where she worked as a para-pro for at risk reading in grades K-5. She credits this work to growing her abilities to work with people. McClure also previously worked for a program in Kalamazoo in an alternative high school program designed for single teen mothers where she taught classes twice a week to prepare the young women for labor and birth.

Today, McClure is focused on growing and expanding the Wonderfully Made program. Wonderfully Made includes four sessions with each class emphasizing God's divine presence through the incredibly rewarding process of giving birth. The goal of the classes is to prepare the mothers and their support partners physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually for the journey ahead. Each class incorporates presentations, discussion time, and floor work. Presentation and discussion time includes viewing instructional movies, learning from visual aids, and using scripture to better know and experience God's love. During floor work, expectant mothers and their support partners practice relaxation and breathing techniques in combination with labor and birth positions.

McClure teaches her students that trust is an important part of facing the fear of giving birth. "I use a lot of scripture to unite my students with what the Lord tells us about the experience of birth and how it's one to be celebrated and joyful about. Fear is the biggest enemy we have, and it continues to be sowed into our heart by the enemy and the world," she explained.

McClure has lived out facing fear and trusting in God as she developed the business plan and packaged the curriculum for hospitals to use. "Without Him I can't do a thing. There is a direction He wants this to go, and I am still figuring it out as He shows me," McClure said. "He keeps me humble and listening and being faithful, and I'm grateful for what He has given me."

The Wonderfully Made program has also been licensed by St Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka, Indiana. Looking to the future, McClure hopes to see other hospitals license the program to make the faith-based curriculum available as another option for expectant mothers. In whatever direction God takes the program, McClure will continue to trust and follow Him each step of the way.
Author Information
Amelia Rhodes
Amelia Rhodes lives in West Michigan with her husband and two young children. She is a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul's books Here Comes the Bride and Inspiration for Writers. Her essays have appeared on the Burnside Writers Collective and Catapult Magazine. Her first book, Isn’t it Time for a Coffee Break? Doing life together in an all-about-me kind of world encourages women to reach out to their communities and live an authentic life together.

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