A new business in town wants to help you bond with your baby, even before the infant is born.
YK Baby Inc., which opened for business in early October, offers non-diagnostic and non-medical ultrasounds in 2D, 3D and even 4D. The two-dimensional ultrasound scan is the traditional method used in the medical field by sending sound waves in one direction to create an image, whereas the 3D and 4D scans direct waves from multiple angles to create a three-dimensional still photo of the baby.
“Mostly we offer the 3D and the 4D. We also offer some gender determination depending on gestational age,” said owner Ryan Power.
YK Baby doesn’t offer gender determination before 20 weeks gestation due to legal issues, but does do ultrasounds between 15 and 35 weeks gestation.
“People can come in and sit down and have a little visit, watch the baby on the screen, get some 3D pictures and we also do 2D pictures as well,” Power said. “The 4D is live, like we can actually watch the baby as it’s physically moving and stuff on the screen.”
In addition to the ultrasounds, Power can also create a recording of the baby’s heartbeat to put into a stuffed animal of the client’s choice, as a keepsake.
“They can keep it for a sibling or maybe give it to a grandparent,” he said.
Prices and packages range from $99 to $499, depending on the length and type of the session. Parents can also Skype their families during an ultrasound appointment if they’d like to share the experience.
“I just wanted to give people that option because there’s so many people here that have family all over the country and the rest of the world,” said Power.
Though the work he does isn’t quite the same as that of an ultrasound tech at a hospital, Power is a radiological technologist for Stanton Territorial Health Authority by day.
“If it was anything to do with medical or anything diagnostic, then you would need a certified ultrasound tech, but for the non-medical imaging you don’t need a certified ultrasound tech,” he explained.
While many expecting parents may opt for the conventional and free two-dimensional ultrasound offered at the hospital, Power said they can always come to YK Baby afterward if they’d like to have another look.
“The 2D ultrasound is good for determining gender,” he said. “Sometimes the gender is not visible depending on the baby’s position and all this kind of stuff. A week after or two weeks after, if they want to have another look, they can come to me or potentially have another appointment at the hospital if they can get in.”
If they can’t determine the baby’s gender on the first try at Yk Baby, Power will book the client in for another scan at no extra cost.
“It’s totally elective, it’s non-diagnostic and non-medical and it’s not covered by insurance so it’s totally out of pocket,” he said. “But it’s just that it creates a bonding experience with the baby and with the parents.”
Since Power runs YK Baby in addition to his regular full-time job, appointments mostly fall on evenings and weekends.
“When a client sends me a request for a day or a date range or something like that, I’ll send them all the available openings and then they can pick what looks best for their schedule,” he said.
Although the business is still relatively new, Power said the services offered at YK Baby are gaining popularity.
“The response has been phenomenal, everybody has been super supportive and encouraging,” he said. “And there’s been quite a few people that have taken advantage of the service so far, and everybody’s been quite surprised and quite pleased that something like this is actually here now — they don’t have to travel to Edmonton anymore to get it,” said Power.