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Breech Presentation and the Webster Technique

25 Oct

Breech Presentation and the Webster Technique

The following are some of my favourite excerpts and my comments regarding a recent 2018 research article from the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health. Follow the link to the article yourself to grow your curiosity and learn how Chiropractic can help.

The article was titled:
Resolution of Breech Presentation and Successful Vaginal Birth Following the Webster Technique: A Case Study & Selective Review of the Literature

What is Breech presentation for a baby? And how often does it occur?

“Breech fetal presentation accounts for 3-4% of pregnancies at term.4 According to cohort studies, in general, planned caesarean section is better than planned vaginal birth for the fetus that presents as a breech at term.5-6 Fetal presentation is diagnosed with Leopold maneuver, pelvis examination, ultrasonography or other imaging techniques. These techniques are utilized to determine fetal positioning as early as 28-weeks gestation. The desired fetal position is vertex position and is when the fetus is head down in the pelvic canal with occiput anterior. Feet or buttocks appearing first is when a fetus is termed breech. It is important to note that 7% of all fetuses are breech at 32 weeks.4”

-Pregnancy can be an exciting and difficult time. There are so many things to do, but also so many things outside of our direct control. The Chiropractic approach has always been to support and encourage the body to function at its best, and to trust in what it’s doing. This can be frustrating when things don’t seem to be going “right”. According to the research of the authors: 7% are breech at 32 weeks, and 3-4% of babies are breech when due. It is often a more desirable birth from the mother’s perspective to be a vaginal one vs. a c-section. And since a breech presentation guides a mother towards a c-section, many mothers find their ways to our offices looking for help.

How can the baby be encouraged to go head down (not breech)?

“Alternative options for repositioning a baby to avoid cesarean section are available and several women will seek these modalities. These alternative options include ginger paste, moxibustion, homeopathic remedies, hypnosis, and yoga.11 The Webster Technique focuses reducing subluxations of the spine and pelvis. Chiropractors utilize this technique to reduce the effects of subluxation, improve function throughout the central nervous system, and prepare the mother for birth.”

What is the Webster Technique?

“The Webster Technique
Webster Technique was developed by the founder of the ICPA, Larry Webster, D.C. The ICPA defines Webster Technique as, “a specific chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of subluxation and/or sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction. In so doing neurobiomechanical function in the sacral/pelvic region is improved.”17 The ICPA is a non-profit organization that specializes in pediatric and Webster certification. Webster Technique may have significant effect on the causes of dystocia based on the improvement of function within the SI joint. Sacral misalignment contributes to the main causes of dystocia via uterine nerve interference, pelvic misalignment, and the tightening and torsion of specific pelvic muscles and ligaments.13 These effects have been documented within several case studies. (Table 1) Facilitating balance in the pelvis, reduces interference to the nervous system and improves pelvic muscle function.18 Restoring balance and function of pelvic muscles removes in-utero constraint and allows for the fetus to get into the best possible position for birth. The importance of preventing intrauterine constraint and subsequence cesarean section delivery is crucial considering the United States have some of the highest rates of obstetric intervention in the world.19-21 The Webster Technique is within the scope of chiropractic practice because it is a specific sacral adjustment to correct subluxation. Chiropractors work at co-managing pregnant patients with their midwives and medical doctors. The Webster Technique has no direct hands-on contact with the developing fetus nor does it attempt to change the position of the fetus.17”

-The above is a great review of the Webster technique by the authors
-“Dystocia” is obstructed labour

What is the conclusion of the study?

“The patient presented with frank breech presentation. Utilizing Webster Technique during her pregnancy helped to reestablish normal sacral biomechanics of the female through sacral adjustments and trigger point therapy. After nine chiropractic adjustments, the fetus was confirmed to be in vertex position and the patient went on to have a natural vaginal birth with no complications. This single case study of one woman’s experience with Webster Technique will contribute to the current research available on Webster Technique. More in depth research is necessary in order to evaluate the role of Webster Technique.”

Here is more blogs to read from our health office:

Breech Baby? There is hope!

Kids need Chiropractic too!

Fertility 101


Naturopathic Doulas

The importance of prenatal Chiropractic care


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