Thanks for taking time to talk to me today Ally!
First of all, I wanted to ask you a little bit about yourself and your family. You are a mom too, right? What brought your family to the Cincinnati area, and were your kids born here?
Yes, a mom to three amazing children Reagan is 10, Miles is 5 and Emerson, my baby is 3 and starting preschool! I actually moved to Cincinnati with my husband, Jake, when I was 16 weeks pregnant with Reagan. When I found out we were expecting we had just moved to Colorado from Northwest Ohio and were definitely surprised by the news. We felt just a little too far away from our family during this exciting time so we made the decision to relocate to Cincinnati.
It was a great decision as I started working at Becoming Mom shortly after moving. Moving to a new city can be scary and especially navigating new doctors and hospitals and resources. I was, and still am, incredibly grateful to be in community with other women and families that were going through the same transition and offered invaluable advice and suggestions.
Tell me about Becoming Mom. How did it get started, and how long has it been around?
Becoming Mom Spa + Ultrasound is currently located in Mason, Ohio, near Whole Foods (with new franchises opening soon!) It was created by an incredible mom and entrepreneur that understood the need to celebrate and pamper women during one of the most exciting yet difficult times in her life. Pregnancy is hard work, delivering a baby is hard work and for some even becoming pregnant is hard work! It’s important for Mom to feel comfortable in her body as it goes through these changes. The services and staff at Becoming Mom are focused on helping ease the common discomforts and challenges of pregnancy and motherhood and also celebrate this super exciting time.
What is its vision and mission?
Becoming Mom Spa + Ultrasound is committed to providing a supportive, safe, and judgement free environment to moms and their families. Our clients are here to feel pampered before, during and after pregnancy. Our mission is to identify and satisfy the unique needs of women, delighting them with experiences from well trained staff, processes and services.
Earlier this year we announced our franchise opportunities and are super excited to see other communities offer Becoming Mom services.
How did you become the General Manager for Becoming Mom?
I’ve been with Becoming Mom for almost 11 years now! I started as a Client Services Coordinator and worked closely with our owner to help create and plan promotions, sales and events. I fell in love with the concept and the relief we provide to so many. And, who could resist working in an environment filled with happy moms to be and their babies!
What do you think sets Becoming Mom apart in the greater-Cincinnati area?
Everything at Becoming Mom is focused on mom and baby’s safety and comfort. We easily perform more spa services on expecting women than any spa in the area and likely country! During our ultrasounds, our goal is give mom peace of mind and help families bond and connect with their new baby, before he or she is even born! All ultrasound services at Becoming Mom are performed by medical sonographers, with the same education and certification that’s required in hospitals and OBGYN offices, which shockingly, is not a requirement for elective ultrasound facilities. This is our focus and passion as a business which allows mom to experience top-notch services without fear of untrained staff or unsafe products.
What sorts of services do you offer, and what do you think is the number one reason expecting moms come to you?
I think the number one reason moms come to us is that we do everything we can to make the feel comfortable and special, as they should be during this time. Bringing a life into this world is a big deal!
We offer a full range of spa services including massages, facials, nail services and waxing. We have treatments for moms during the preconception phase all the way through the postpartum months. A common questions we get is “do I have to be pregnant to come?” and the answer is absolutely not! Our services are open to all and are great at all stages of motherhood and especially if using natural skin care products is important to you.
Many know us by our 3D/4D and now HD Ultrasound imaging that provide mom and her family an incredible glimpse at baby. During these scans we often see baby sucking her thumb, smiling and even laughing. It’s fun to hear mom and dad discuss whose nose he has and start their love affair with baby’s chunky cheeks. Our gender reveal ultrasound service is by far the most booked service we offer. We offer gender determination anytime after 16 weeks and are happy to work with mom and her family if they want to know gender at the time of the scan or if they would like us to write it down for a reveal party at a later date. I’ve called bakers, grandparents, and friends. I’ve stuffed pinatas and any other request in order to make this announcement perfect for mom.
What are some of the benefits of prenatal massage, and some of the other spa treatments you offer?
The benefits of prenatal massage are huge and unfortunately not very well known! Prenatal massage can improve the obvious things like neck and back pain, but also can assist in improved sleep, assist in lowering stress and anxiety, reduce swelling and even reduce the risk of preterm labor. We also offer preconception massage that have been shown to greatly increase conceptions rates whether mom is trying naturally or with fertility treatments. And after baby, our postpartum massage is beneficial in restoring circulation and blood flow, breaking up scar tissue or adhesions that may be beginning to form. We also focus on neck and shoulder pain many moms experience from gazing down at their sweet baby during feedings.
Our facials are extremely popular and help combat hormonal changes in your body that can wreak havoc on your skin. We use a 100% natural plant and herb based skin care line called Farmaesthetics manufactured in small batches in Rhode Island.
What makes your spa services unique and specially suited to expecting moms?
All of our massage therapists have received additional training and certification in the areas of preconception, prenatal and postpartum massage far above and beyond what is briefly covered in massage school and our other spa professionals learn proper positioning techniques to best accommodate mom.
Do you offer any services to dads and partners too?
Dads, partners, friends, and grandparents are welcome to join mom for spa services and the whole family including other children are welcome to join for our ultrasound services.
You also offer a preconception massage. Tell me about that service?
Preconception massage is an incredible and specialized service that has been helpful to many of our clients. It’s a lesser known spa offering and is typically only offered by LMTs that complete additionally training in the area of fertility massage. We spend time prior to the session touching base with mom and her preconception journey. The massage is beneficial to moms trying naturally or in conjunction with fertility treatments and medications. Specific massage techniques such as pelvic friction, pelvic rocking, reflexology and acupressure help to break up adhesions and scar tissue, promote circulation to the reproductive organs, and stimulate hormonal glands and reproductive organs to increase the energy flow creating greater health and balance.
Tell me a little bit about the HDlive ultrasound?
The HDlive ultrasound technology is something we started using about 2 years ago. It is the latest in 3D imaging technology and provides a beautiful image of baby. The big difference between HD scanning and 3D scanning is that the software allows the sonographer to use a virtual light source to pull out key details and features of baby’s face. It also produces more of flesh tone coloring vs. the golden color 3D scans produce. The newer machine also has a faster processor that results in clearer and smoother images. The best time for this scan is between 25-32 weeks.
What sets it apart from the typical ultrasound most expecting mothers will receive through their OB office or hospital?
The ultrasounds you have at Becoming Mom do not take the place of your ultrasounds at your OBGYN office. During the anatomy scan at your OBGYN the focus is going to be on evaluating baby’s growth and development and comparing that to your estimated due date. During that scan the sonographer is going to collect a variety of measurements and calculations, and may or may not determine gender bases on the time allotted for your appointment and how cooperative baby is being. Some OBGYN offices have 3D imaging, but most of the time your anatomy scan will be done in 2D or black and white imaging.
At Becoming Mom we perform limited diagnostics with each scan. This includes baby’s heart rate, amniotic fluid levels, the position of your placenta, the position of baby, and confirm number of babies. We have had a few parents over the years that have been shocked to find out they are having a boy...and a girl or that their family of 2 is now a family of 4.
We also allow and encourage mom to bring family and friends to share in the incredible experience of seeing baby’s face for the first time. We have a large sectional sofa and a flat screen TV in the imaging room. Many times this can help younger siblings connect more to what is happening with Mom when they see their new brother or sister’s face on the screen. They only get upset when they realize they don’t actually get to take home the baby that day!