Obstetric and chiropractic research recognize the importance of maintaining proper alignment of the low back, pelvis, and sacrum during pregnancy. This ensures proper growth and development of the baby, eases discomfort for the mother, improves labor outcomes, and allows the baby to get into the proper head down position for birth. Most babies assume a head down, position for birth at around 36 weeks, but sometimes this doesn’t happen. In most cases where babies are breech, no cause is ever determined as to why the baby could not move head down.
During pregnancy, rapid weight gain from the baby growing in the womb create changes in posture, and increased amounts of the hormone relaxin (which functions to relax the strong pelvic ligaments in preparation for delivery), put extra strain on the joints of the low back, sacrum, and pelvis. In effect, making room for baby increases the chances for misalignment of the lower back. Sacral misalignment and joint dysfunction can twist and distort the shape of the uterus, making it difficult for baby to get into the normal head down position before birth.
The Standard Medical Approach to Breech Babies
Medical doctors usually adopt the wait and see approach. If the baby does not turn on its own they will schedule a Cesarean section. A few may attempt a procedure called external cephalic version. Essentially the physician applies external pressure to the baby through moms’ abdomen to try to physically move the baby into a head down position. This procedure only works about 50% of the time and there can be serious complications. These include bleeding, premature membrane rupture, fetal distress, and premature labor. When this doesn’t work, a C-section is again the conventional next step.
There is a safe and very effective alternative that can not only allow the baby to turn head down, it can also ease the pain of pregnancy and pave the way for an easier birthing experience without using external physical force on the developing baby. It is called the Webster technique.
The Webster Technique for Breech Babies
Dr. Larry Webster, founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, noticed a clinical correlation between sacral/pelvic misalignment during pregnancy and breech or transverse babies. Based on his findings, Dr. Webster developed a gentle, very specific chiropractic technique to restore proper function of the sacrum and pelvis, which in turn allows the baby to instinctively get into a head down position.
The Webster technique effectively addresses and corrects sacral misalignment in the expectant mother. Treatment reduces pelvic imbalance and torsion/tension on the uterus, which gives baby an improved space in which to move head down Dr. Webster’s initial case studies showed that approximately 90% of babies presenting in abnormal positions were able to assume head down positions before labor and delivery after mom received Chiropractic treatment using the Webster technique.
Research using the Webster technique is continually being done through to International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. It is a gentle, safe, and extremely effective way to aid and support a healthy pregnancy and optimal birth experience for mom and baby, without the risk of complications associated with a C-section.
Dr. Stephanie Griffitts and Dr. Keith Kramer at Senara Health and Healing Center in Peoria, IL are certified Webster physicians who can help all expecting mothers during every stage of pregnancy.Contact us to schedule your consultation and address your pregnancy related back health concerns!
Whitehead, Nicole A. 2001, July. For Many Pregnant Moms, Webster Technique is Key to Safer Birth. Pathways to Family Wellness, Issue 14.
Can Chiropractors Turn Breech Babies. 2001, March. Pathways to Family Wellness, Issue 53.
Alcantara, Joel. The Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique. Case study. 2004, July 9-12.
Drobbin, Danielle and La Rosa, Sarah. Resolution of Transverse Breech Pregnancy Following Administration of Chiropractic Using the Webster Technique: A Case Study & Selective Review of the Literature. Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health. 2015, 9-14.