Whitney Hannah-Owen admits she has been called ‘The Baby Whisperer’ before.
The Canadian-born small business-owner said her work in diagnostics means she’s been up close and personal with plenty of babies, and all while they’re still in the womb.
After 20 years of scanning, Ms Hannah-Owen is now the owner of Newcrest Imaging, a Hunter-based business offering 3D and 4D ultrasounds within the home.
Ms Hannah-Owen said the service was born out of the need for many expectant parents to have a “less clinical” experience during their pregnancy scans.
“It is a niche market,” she said.
“This service is not meant to replace regular medically necessary scans, rather it is meant to compliment the regular scans so that families can bond in a non-diagnostic capacity. “
After hours appointments, she says, also suits other family members.
“Any number of individuals can be present for the scan, including younger siblings,” she said.
“A lot of times partners can’t attend diagnostic scans because of work or other commitments.
“I offer after hours scans and time to allow a full tour of the baby.
“It’s also great for siblings. They’re often not allowed to attend scans but this way it makes the baby a little more real for them as well.
“They see there’s a baby, there’s a foot, there’s a heart beat, and they get to see a real picture of the brother or sister they are about to meet.”
Through her business, Ms Hannah-Owen offers bonding scans, reassurance scans and gender determination scans.
She is adamant research shows scans are not harmful to the baby.
“In the early days they may have been concerned, perhaps because it was unknown,” she said.
“But there’s lots of research now that shows the lower frequency is very safe.”
While the reasons people seek additional scans vary, she says her clients are always grateful.
“Most of my work is through word-of-mouth. People are so thankful that after the baby is born I am often sent pictures so I can see the comparison.”