An expectant mother-to-be knows all too well the aches and pains of a growing and constantly changing body. You’re also likely familiar with worrying about your unborn baby, wanting to make sure you do everything in your power to have a positive, healthy pregnancy experience.
That’s why it can be difficult for many mothers to learn that their baby is in an incorrect position for birth, later into the pregnancy. Incorrect positioning can mean a more complicated birth for both you and baby, and bring more variables into the picture. You’ve worked so hard to take care of your body and the baby – where did things go wrong?
The good news is that not only is this extremely common, but there are also some great conservative methods to employ if you find yourself in this situation, one of the main options being the Webster Technique. Here, we’ll introduce you to this non-invasive method and offer suggested guidelines on how to employ its use for best results.
What Causes a Baby to Be Breech?
Let’s rewind a bit and start from the beginning, as you might be wondering what causes a baby to be in an incorrect birthing position. According to the American Pregnancy Association, there are several theories, but in the 1970s, Dr. Larry Webster discovered a link between pelvic misalignment and poor fetal positioning, or “breech positioning,” the commonly used term. During pregnancy, the body changes and moves to accommodate a growing fetus. And, coupled with surges of the hormone relaxin that relax ligaments in preparation for birth, a misaligned pelvis is fairly common during pregnancy, occurring in 1 out of 25 full-term births. However, though a misaligned pelvis isn’t completely abnormal, it does introduce more complications to the pregnancy and potential birthing situation.
Previously, it was thought that if you discovered your baby was in an incorrect position in the womb, it automatically meant a C-section delivery for the safety of the mother and baby. That’s not necessarily the case anymore, thanks to this method. While every birthing situation is different, by using the Webster Method, some pregnant women have been able to coax the fetus back into a position more conducive for a traditional birthing experience.
What Is the Webster Technique?
The Webster Technique, named after Dr. Webster, was developed to address that pelvic misalignment. It’s comprised of two fundamental steps, analyzing the functional and spatial relationship of the bones of the pelvis and manual adjustment of the lower spine, followed by analysis and relief of abdominal muscle tension or spasms. Both steps help relieve the causes of intrauterine constraint and help bring the mother’s pelvis and surrounding nerves back into alignment.
The Webster technique is a specific chiropractic technique performed only by a trained doctor of chiropractic. This adjustment, combined with applied pressure of the pelvic ligament for tension release, has helped the uterine wall relax enough to guide many fetuses back into their correct position for an optimal birth experience. Pretty incredible, right?
Is The Webster Technique Right For Me?
Does your fetus need to be in poor positioning to benefit from the Webster Technique? No! This technique can be proactively used throughout your pregnancy to prevent poor positioning from happening later on; by keeping your pelvis aligned with regular adjustments, you help create a better environment for your baby to thrive.
Of course, if you learn partway into your pregnancy that your unborn baby is in a tricky position, seeking out a doctor of chiropractic who specializes in the Webster Technique becomes even more important. The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported an 82% success rate for the Webster Technique; further, the results of the study suggest that it is preferable to perform the Webster Technique in the 8th month of pregnancy. Because this treatment is conservative, you have the benefit of trying a completely non-invasive approach before birth.
Again, keep in mind that this technique isn’t one that necessarily works overnight, and is at its most effective when used consistently and preventatively, throughout the pregnancy. Though women have had luck employing this method to help the fetus back into its normal positioning, it’s much easier to do this work to keep the baby in place from early on in the pregnancy. After all, the Webster Technique is used to open up the womb so that the fetus is less restricted. While this can be extremely helpful if you find out that your baby is breech, keeping your womb open by employing this technique throughout your pregnancy can also add to the health of your baby, and help you recognize earlier on if it looks like your baby is turning to incorrect positioning. In short: the Webster Technique is a great method for an expectant mother to add in her prenatal routine.
The Benefits Of Chiropractic Care Through Pregnancy
The Webster Technique is just one facet of beneficial chiropractic care that occurs when treating pregnant patients. Though many associate the Webster Technique with helping breech babies back into a more optimal birthing position, its core purpose is to help open up the uterine walls to cut down on the restriction of your fetus.
Aside from this specific technique, chiropractic care in general is a great way to stay on top of many of the normal pregnancy aches and pains. The gentle chiropractic adjustments of the spine, neck, and extremities help to realign your body and provide relief to your entire body. These adjustments also help to decrease inflammation, relieve pressure, reduce nerve irritability, and ultimately allow your entire body to function adapt to the changes of pregnancy better. By working consistent chiropractic care into your routine, you’re going a great service to your body, and to your growing baby’s health.