Chiropractic care during pregnancy is a great addition to any woman’s prenatal care schedule. Not only does it help with pregnancy related pain but it can also help promote normal physiological and biomechanical function within a pregnant mum’s body.
When it comes to chiropractic and pregnancy a lot of people have heard about ‘The Webster Technique’ and its success in turning breech babies. What I want to do here is explain what the Webster Technique is, how it works and why it is linked to turning breech babies.
History Of The Webster Technique
The webster technique was created in the 1990’s by Dr Webster – a chiropractor in America. When it was first created it was a technique that applied to all patients and not just pregnant women with the aim of helping re-align the pelvis and remove interference by subluxations.
However, a lot of pregnant women and their chiropractors were noticing that after performing the Webster technique a lot breech presentation babies were turning. This is how the whole notion of The webster technique turns breech babies began.
What Actually Is The Webster Technique
The webster technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and technique that helps balance the pelvis and reduces stress to the ligaments that anchor the uterus. The goal of the technique is to identify areas of misalignment in the pelvis and sacrum and to then reduce the effects of them through specific chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue release. This then allows normal neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis or put simply it allows the pelvis to move properly and have proper neurological input.
This is important in pregnant women as proper pelvic alignment allows for a larger amount of space within the womb. The more space in the womb, the more space your baby has to move around. This is incredibly important throughout your pregnancy but more so towards the end when the baby needs to be able to move into a good position for birth – ideally head down.
When there is restriction through the pelvis it can limit the space in the womb which can interfere with your babies ability to move freely.
How Does The Webster Technique Work?
The first thing we do is Check that the pelvis and sacrum are aligned properly. This is important as the pelvis is the solid ring structure around your uterus and any torsion through the pelvis can cause torsion in the uterus. There are also ligaments that attach from the pelvis to the uterus that act as an anchor for the uterus. If the pelvis is twisted it can cause tension in the ligaments which can then pull on the uterus – acting as another aspect that can cause decreased space in the uterus.
As a chiropractor for pregnancy in Diamond creek I use one of several techniques to adjust the pelvis or sacrum (depending on what I find). This could be through the use of a drop piece mechanism on the table, through a manual adjustment or through a hand held instrument called an activator. I ask you as the client what your preference would be as I want you to feel the most comfortable but also get results.
The next thing we do is check the round ligament which is a large ligament at the front of your belly. The round ligament is important in supporting your womb and is the main ligament attaching the front of your uterus to your groin. Sometimes one or both of the round ligaments can get tight and as a result can essentially squash part of your uterus. This will reduce the amount of space that the baby has to move around the womb.
Pregnancy chiropractors do not adjust the round ligament. Instead we use soft massage to help release the ligament.
Does The Webster Technique Turn Breech Babies?
The Webster technique and chiropractors themselves do not physically move the baby from a breech position. What we do is allow the body to move freely which therefore permits the proper amount of space so that the baby can freely turn themselves.
The webster technique is not specifically used to turn breech babies but is used as a way to allow proper and optimal movement through the pelvis and therefore the womb.
The Webster Technique Is Beneficial To Any Pregnant Woman
As stated above the webster techniques goal is to promote proper neuro-biomechanical function throughout the pelvis and womb. Therefore, it is not just mothers with breech babies that can benefit from this technique.
All pregnant mothers can benefit from the Websters technique and that is why I use it on all the pregnant mothers I see at InnerBloom.
I believe it is important for ALL pregnant mums to have proper neuro-biomechanical function of their pelvis as it helps them through pregnancy and more importantly birth.
Sacral subluxations or improper movement of the sacrum have been linked to difficult labours. This is due to the importance of the sacral movement during labour. We need the sacrum to move backwards to allow enough space in the birth canal so that the baby can travel down the canal without much difficulty.
If there is a tilt, twist, or some torsion in the sacrum it can interfere with its motion and can decrease the amount of space in the birth canal. This could potentially make the babies descent down the birth canal more challenging and in some cases could block the baby from moving any further.
I want women to have as easy a labour as possible because I want them to enjoy their birth. If we can allow proper motion of the pelvis pre-birth it may help women not experience so many problems in their birth. Will it work for everyone? Maybe not – but I would be doing everything I possibly could to get the birth I deserve.
Yours In Health
Dr Alana x