Having a baby puts enormous strain on us physically and our bodies change in ways we didn’t know were possible. After the birth we often need help to coax our bodies back to the way they were whilst dealing with the excitement and demands of a new little one. Local osteopath and mum-to-be Hannah Lougee has recently joined a W12 practise and specialises in pre and postnatal care.
In addition to her general practice work, Hannah has a special interest in the use of Osteopathy in both ante and postnatal care, with treatment playing a supportive role both during and after pregnancy. This can both help prevent and limit the various aches and pains which often result from the postural and biomechanical changes associated with pregnancy.
Hannah has recently published a paper in The Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies concerning the use of placebo treatments in randomised controlled trials of manipulative therapy.
We talk to her about the key changes that affect women before and after childbirth.
Many years ago my mother had a bad whiplash injury for which she was advised to have some osteopathic treatment with fantastic results. This, coupled with my fascination with the human body and background in biology, led me to shadow various osteopaths. Seeing what they did and the huge benefits that treatment can have on people’s daily lives inspired me to train and since then I have never looked back.
Why did you choose to specialise in pre and postnatal treatment?
Having a baby is a life changing event. A fact I am becoming increasingly aware of myself as I reach 28 weeks! Your body does undergo a huge transformation throughout the nine month period. Really, it is mind blowing. Unfortunately though, sometimes one’s ability to adapt to the changing dynamics that evolve throughout pregnancy can be challenged and I have always felt a desire to help women through this period. People must not think that to be in great discomfort during pregnancy is ‘their lot’, as much can be done to make them feel more comfortable.
Likewise, the postnatal mother is often an under-treated individual, partly because focus tends to be on the health and well-being of the baby but also because mothers themselves are often unaware that much postnatal discomfort is actually treatable. Changes in the musculoskeletal system are the slowest to recover after birth and a lot can be done to help the areas most stressed by pregnancy and birth such as the lower back and pelvis, abdominal muscles and pelvic floor.
What are the most common symptoms that you see in patients during pregnancy?
Muscular and joint aches and pains are very common throughout pregnancy, in particular, low backache, pelvic pain and symphysis pubis dysfunction. Osteopathy plays a supportive role during pregnancy, where gentle, safe and relaxing treatment is aimed at maintaining sufficient flexibility as well as strength to ensure smooth adaptation to the changing forces, posture and mechanics, reducing the development of strain, stress and therefore symptoms. The main focus of treatment is to make you feel as comfortable as possible and to prepare you for labour.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
Seeing patients walk out of the clinic after treatment feeling more comfortable and returning with their gorgeous babies.
Tell us about West London Osteopaths…
Situated just off the bustling Askew Road in Shepherds Bush, the clinic offers osteopathy, western medical acupuncture, massage and Pilates. The team at West London Osteopaths is here to help you and indeed the whole family to deal with the rigours of modern life and to guide you to well-being and good body understanding. Founded by David Tatton, West London Osteopaths has been providing a comprehensive, yet individually tailored approach for each patient for nearly thirty years.
What are you most looking forward to about impending motherhood?
Meeting the little person I’ve been carrying around for all this time!
Where is your favourite place to visit in west London?
Kew Gardens, without a doubt; especially in this beautiful weather.
For more information about Hannah or West London Osteopaths please visit: