Growing up with a biomedical engineer for a father, Cindy Yacur, owner of Invision Ultrasound in Folsom, was familiar with complicated medical equipment and none fascinated her more than the ultrasound machine.
In high school Yacur worked in veterinary medicine and continued down the medical path, working in pharmaceutical sales. When a few friends were looking to sell a company that provided 3D and 4D ultrasound services to pregnant women, Yacur snatched up the opportunity and took the machine off their hands.
Now Yacur makes appointments for couples to view their baby in clear detail before birth. She offers 3D ultrasounds — still images of the baby in fine detail — and 4D ultrasounds — a moving video of the baby in the womb, capturing his or her yawns, hiccups and kicks. She also offers gender determination sessions as early as 15 weeks into the pregnancy.
“The doctor’s office can tell [the gender] earlier, but they have no medical reason to ultrasound a mom earlier under normal circumstances,” Yacur explained. “They combine telling you the gender with your medical ultrasound. And the medical ultrasound is for all the measurements and such, and occurs around 20 weeks.”
Twenty weeks into a pregnancy is a long time before finding out the gender of the baby. Yacur sympathizes with impatient mothers, who are too excited to wait.
“Waiting five more weeks is huge! At 20 weeks, you’re halfway done with your pregnancy,” Yacur said. “That’s a long time to have to wait … when you decide that you want to know whether you’re having a boy or girl, you wanted to know yesterday. It’s an urgency. It’s the one appointment that I will almost always try [to fit in].”
Her studio is inside the children’s clothing store Starlight Starbright in the Bel Air shopping center off East Bidwell, and is furnished and decorated to make Yacur’s customers feel at home. She also offers many extras for purchase, such as her heartbeat animals (she records the baby’s heartbeat and places the recorder inside a stuffed animal as a memory for the mother to always have). Yacur said she also is committed to expanding her knowledge of babies and pregnancy, hoping in the future to offer childbirth and pregnancy classes for her clients.
“I’m a certified childbirth educator, so I’m looking at going back to adding on childbirth classes. I haven’t offered any for a while,” Yacur said. “Pregnancy has become kind of a passion and specialty of mine.”
About three years ago Yacur was diagnosed with breast cancer, but she said her business has given her hope and happiness: “It was very therapeutic to be able to share such positiveness when I was going through such a dark period myself,” she explained. She finished her treatment and is currently halfway to her cancer-free point.
Sometimes during an ultrasound, the baby will be facing away from the camera and cannot be viewed. Yacur has some tricks up her sleeve to get a good picture.
“After nearly five years of doing this, I jokingly call myself ‘the baby whisperer,’” Yacur admitted. “I do know some tricks to get the baby to roll over. Unfortunately, they’re not always smiling at the camera and waiting for me to take their picture. Babies have their own little worlds that they’re living in. And we just happen to be trying to take a glance at it.”
Yacur said her business is very rewarding and that she wants to share her passion for pregnancy and childbirth with her clients.
“Customer service is my biggest priority. I feel customer service is lacking in a lot of businesses. I love what I do and I want parents to be happy,” she said. “It’s such a unique opportunity to be able to bond with your baby before it’s here. I want it to be as special as it can be.”
Invision Ultrasound also offers live streaming of the ultrasound to family members or friends who cannot be in the studio. Many clients also purchase DVDs of their ultrasound to show at their baby shower.
Invision does ultrasounds by appointment only. For more information visit invision3dultrasound.com. To schedule an appointment call (916) 984-7100.