A husband and wife have used potential tragedy to inspire them to go into business and be part of parents’ pregnancy journeys.

Jonathan and Daniele Hammond have opened Hey Baby 4D Bishop’s Stortford in Sworders Yard, off North Street, to provide high-quality ultrasound services combining a fun, family experience alongside reassurance, safety, hygiene and care.

The clinic offers reassurance scans from eight weeks, gender/sex confirmation, wellbeing and immersive 4D scans. All scans are conducted by a qualified sonographer and the clinic is fully accessible.

And with gender reveal parties on the rise, the scanning room also includes special ‘gender reveal lighting’ which turns the room pink if you are having a girl and blue if you are having a boy.

Jonathan and Daniele, both 42, had the idea of opening their own pregnancy scanning clinic when they were expecting their first child, Harry, three years ago.

After experiencing some unusual pain, Daniele had to have an emergency NHS scan as the pregnancy was suspected to be ectopic.

“Thankfully, everything was as it should be, but it prompted us to seek the services of a private ultrasound clinic for regular reassurance throughout the rest of the pregnancy,” said Daniele.

The couple, who live in Woodford Green and are expecting their second child, then decided to take the plunge after Jonathan almost lost his life during a five-day spell in intensive care having been diagnosed with meningococcal septicemia, which is a strain of meningitis, three years ago.

“It was a real wake-up call and we decided life was too short not to go for it,” said Daniele.

Jonathan had worked as a music industry promoter, a policeman in the Met and a landscape gardener before illness struck, while Daniele has enjoyed a successful 20-year career in financial services.

They are now looking forward to becoming part of the Stortford community by supporting expectant parents and integrating with local groups and businesses.

“The experience of pregnancy is so different for every parent,” said Daniele. “Hey Baby aims to add a little extra magic to that experience wherever possible.”

Their Stortford clinic is one of 18 Hey Baby franchises either open or in the process of opening across the UK. The company was established in 2015 in Derbyshire by a healthcare professional who noticed a gap in the local market for a high-quality ultrasound clinic.

Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, some maternity departments have had to make alterations to their regular service which has meant some fathers have missed the opportunity to attend scans.

With strict protocols and hygiene measures in place, Jonathan and Daniele’s clinic can allow guests to attend from up to two households as long as social distancing is observed.

“As a father and current expectant father, I know how much I benefited from attending scans alongside Daniele,” said Jonathan.

“I like to think partners who have potentially missed out on attending scans will be rest assured that they can have the opportunity to do so.”