A woman that has dedicated the past 41 years to helping moms-to-be and new moms has retired. Saradell Horton has helped thousands of moms prepare for delivery and life after the baby is born. Horton started teaching Childbirth Education Classes at Comanche County Memorial Hospital back in 1979.

“We prepare for a career,” Horton said. “We prepare for marriage, schooling, so a life event such as having a baby became my passion for teaching.”

In the 90′s, she, the woman she was teaching with, along with two other women, became board-certified lactation consultants.

“We were the pioneers in the early ’90s,” Horton said.

She said they enjoyed establishing that at the hospital.

“And beginning that legacy for women to know that they would come into a hospital prepared with education, prepared for breastfeeding if that’s what they choose,” she said. “So, through the years it became just me teaching classes.”

Horton said when she became a lactation consultant, she asked herself if she wanted to stop teaching the child birthing classes.

“I decided ‘no, I really like teaching, and I think the opportunity to learn is so important for them,’” Horton said.

So, she kept teaching. She said she always tried to make the learning experience fun and informative, whether they were talking about the stages of labor and delivery, watching the childbirth film, or going over newborn care, home safety, or car safety.

“Each week gives them a chance to learn something new and come back the next week to ask questions, get involved, practice breathing skills, coaching, and better prepare for the whole birth event,” she said.

Horton’s last few months didn’t go as planned because of COVID, and she had to cancel all in-person classes. She said she still did her best to prepare moms-to-be by calling and face-timing them.

While Horton is looking forward to spending more time with her grandkids now that she’s retired, she’s also happy that the classes will continue.

“Somebody has stepped up and volunteered and is super excited to be going forward in the tradition that Sara Dell has set,” Paula Griffith, RN, said. “We should be starting those classes within the next month, COVID willing, and we’re really excited about it.”

Horton’s advice to the person talking her spot is to listen to the patient and find out what they’re scared about.

“And knowing that she’ll have the nursing experience of helping moms when she works labor and delivery, or she works on postpartum that will benefit her to make sure they’re really ready for the birth event,” she said.