Cynthia Wordu, the co-owner of Little Tickles in Pearland, was giving birth to her second child during the grand opening of her maternity center in April 2023.

The backstory

During her first and second pregnancy, Wordu said she wanted more chances to see her baby via ultrasound, but the opportunities were few and far between, she said.

“With my first baby, I think I saw them maybe three or four times,” Wordu said. “You might see your OBGYN every week or [every] two weeks, but they’re not going to do an ultrasound every time. Even then, the pictures are 2D.”

So she and her husband opened the 3D and 4D maternity ultrasound center out of the need to provide expecting mothers and their families more opportunities to savor the journey of entering into motherhood, she said.

What they offer

Aside from the ultrasound experience, her services include pre- and postnatal massages, gender determinations, and maternity photoshoots, which she began offering in May.

To further connect with their growing baby, the business also offers heartbeat plush toys as a keepsake for mom and family, she said.

“We are here for entertainment—it’s just for fun,” Wordu said. “For now, we just want to make moms happy, we want to make them smile,” Wordu said.

A family affair

Wordu said she wants Little Tickles to be a “one-stop-shop” for pregnant women as they emotionally prepare for their babies. By the end of 2024, she plans to open another center in Richmond, she said.

These services are nondiagnostic, so they do not replace regular doctor visits, Wordu said. She said what also differentiates the maternity center is that the whole family can share in these experiences.

“In the hospital you can’t bring your family, you can [only] come with your husband—and sometimes not even that, especially post COVID-19,” Wordu said. “Here, we can have up to five people in a room. You can bring your grandma or the whole family.”