Latina entrepreneur giving gift of sight to expecting mothers
After more than a decade working in the OBGYN field, Marlene Hernandez recently opened her own prenatal imaging practice in Selma. Photo contributed
Written by Ben Hensley
In a pandemic, worrying about your own health and safety is stressful enough. For expecting mothers, the thought of pregnancy, finances, employment and the many other difficulties that come with a new child are only compounded by the uncertainty of an ever changing world.
Bun in the Oven Imaging, owned and operated by Marlene Hernandez, 39, aims to take some of that stress away, providing a safe, welcoming atmosphere for expecting mothers to have their first experiences with their new baby.
Located in Selma, Bun in the Oven opened this spring, and Hernandez is excited to bring a level of comfort and security to an exciting time in a family’s life.
“I’ve been doing OBGYN for over 13 years and it’s always been a passion of mine,” Hernandez said. “I just absolutely love helping pregnant women in general. I love their glow.”
After working with Dr. Peters and Kroeker’s OBGYN office in Fresno for over a decade, Hernandez wanted to open her own practice, serving the community in which she grew up.
“I just love the fact that I was able to open it up here in this little town,” she said, adding that being bilingual helps patients and patients’ families feel more comfortable.
Hernandez provides imaging in 2D and 3D all the way up to 5D and HD imaging, offering parents everything from still photos of their child to real-time, HD video imaging.
Local B95 radio personality Carmen, who is expecting her third child, recently had a sonography appointment with Bun in the Oven, and praised Hernandez’s ability to explain the imaging process.
“She does a great job at making you feel calm,” Carmen said. “The fact that as soon as you walk in, you’re greeted with a big smile, I think she does a great job at welcoming people.”
Carmen also praised Hernandez’s bilinguality, adding that the ability to communicate in both Spanish and English eases clients and client’s families.
“I think it’s very welcoming, especially here in the Valley, to have someone who speaks Spanish organically and naturally, and can communicate what we’re actually seeing,” Carmen said.
Hernandez also offers a very unique opportunity at Bun in the Oven, with the ability to accommodate groups and families to view the imaging process in a “home theater” style setup.
“We do allow 20 guests to come with you — we have a huge scanning room here with a 150-inch screen projector,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez does not know of any other local imaging centers that offer the same number of guests.
Bun in the Oven also takes ample precautions for Covid-19, allowing only one group inside the center at a time, with cleaning taking place before and after each session.
Masks are also required while inside the building, with the exception of photo opportunities.
Appointments are scheduled in 30 or 60 minute sessions, giving Hernandez time to develop any photos that need to be processed, as well as giving the family an opportunity to take photos with the expecting mother.
Hernandez says she has received appointments throughout California with customers making the journey from as far south as Porterville to as far north as Sacramento.
“Especially because I’m bilingual, a lot of families feel comfortable,” she said.
With hopes to purchase a second imaging machine on the horizon, Bun in the Oven plans to one day expand.