The Webster Technique of Chiropractic for Pregnancy
What is The Webster Technique?
The Webster Technique is a chiropractic analysis and adjustment system used during pregnancy. It aims to balance the pelvis and sacrum, releasing the misalignment or subluxation. This enables optimal functioning and stability of both structures. The Webster Technique also focuses on the ligamentous attachments of the pelvis to the uterus. One of the most important and troublesome during pregnancy is the round ligament. The emphasis is on releasing tension on it and other ligaments with uterine attachments.
The technique is named after the doctor who developed it, Dr. Larry Webster. Dr. Webster also founded the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA). The ICPA is the leading organization for pediatric and prenatal chiropractors.
What is the breech presentation and how can chiropractic help?
The breech presentation is when the baby is not in the head-down optimal position for labor and birth. This is increasingly a problem because fewer and fewer practitioners deliver breech babies due to the increased risk. With increasing frequency, we see mothers sent for medical inversions and scheduled for cesarean sections when in the breech presentation. Both of these options are dangerous for both the mother and child.
An external inversion is not only very uncomfortable for the mother, but can put the fetus into distress very quickly. That is why this procedure is done in a hospital setting. That way if the fetus becomes distressed they can do an emergency cesarean.
Cesarean sections are dangerous for many reasons. Not only is this a major abdominal operation, but the amount of drugs put into the mother and child disrupt the normal hormonal cascade needed. This cascade enables bonding, milk let down, latching and even uterine contraction needed after birth. Many breathing problems are shown in cesarean children due to the fact that they are not compressed through the canal. The compression through the canal pushes surfactant out of the lungs. They also miss that first probiotic exposure from the birthing canal, which causes them to have a weaker immune system. Lastly, the pushing through the canal gives the cranio-sacral pump (which aides in the protection and nutrition of our nervous systems – the MOST important system in our body) a needed boost to get the cranio-sacral rhythm in order.
The Webster Technique has been shown to resolve 82% of breech presentations, which is accurate to what I have personally seen in practice.
Chiropractic, and more specifically the Webster Technique, can help by adjusting the pelvis and sacrum, establishing normal alignment and fluidity of these structures. There are ligamentous contacts used also to release tension along the important ones that attach to and support the uterus. This allows for the fetus to have more room to move and flip into the appropriate position. The Webster Technique has been shown to resolve 82% of breech presentations, which is accurate to what I have personally seen in practice. The earlier women come to see us, the higher the likelihood that the baby has enough time to turn. We have helped many women avoid the painful inversion techniques and have been able to help cancel many C-sections.
What is intrauterine constraint?
It is the most common factor in preventing the baby from getting into the proper head down lie, facing the mother’s spine. It is when the uterus is compromised, normally from a mal-position of the pelvis and tension on the ligaments that support it. Think of the uterus as a balloon held by rubber bands to the pelvis. If you start to tug or tighten some of those ligaments, the balloon changes shape and distorts. This causes the baby to have less room to move. Often, a women’s body responds appropriately by secreting more fluid into the uterus. This allows that baby more “wiggle room.” So, if this is happening to you, rest assured that you should not restrict water intake. Your body is acting appropriately.
What is dystocia?
Dystocia is when the baby is unable pass through the pelvic canal. This can cause fetal distress and also an uncomfortable labor for the mother. Many medical professionals attest to the fact of the “fetus being too large.” More often than not we have found that the pelvis is out of alignment, causing the pelvic opening to be smaller and with less ability to open. The longer the mother has had the pelvic mis-alignment, the more scar tissue and tension there will be in the area, causing less fluidity of the opening and closing of the birth canal.
What is back labor?
Back labor is an intense lower back pain during the birth process. Many times this can be due to the baby’s skull pressing on the spine and sacrum (the improper position for birth). It also can be due to mis-alignments in the spine and pelvis, which if not corrected, are exacerbated during the birth process.
How do I prevent these things?
Labor and birth are a marathon and should be prepared for physically as such. The Webster Technique helps get the pelvis into alignment, releases tension from the uterine ligaments, reduces pre-existing scar tissue from past injuries, and allows for fluidity of the pelvis.
Dr. Joan Fallon, a chiropractor who has written and conducted numerous studies on the efficacy and safety of chiropractic care for pregnancy, completed one of the largest studies of the reduction of labor time through the use of chiropractic. In 1993, she found that labor time was reduced by 25-30% in comparison to the group that did not receive chiropractic care. Time reduction was from 4-6 hours.
Another study by Diakow in 1991 found that 84% of women (in a group of 400) noticed reduction of back pain during pregnancy and during their labor.
Other things you can do to prepare include:
- Squats – probably the most comfortable birthing position, which is also aided by gravity. Get ready to squat a lot during labor.
- Yoga: Cat/Cow, Downward dog, Child’s pose, Hip openers, Side bends, Lunges, Forward bends
- Sit on a yoga ball. Hard chairs restrict pelvic motion. Forget about sitting in a “lady-like” position; sit with your knees wide open to open the pelvic floor as much as possible.
- Walk as much as possible.
Who teaches the Webster Technique?
The ICPA teaches the technique. You can find certified practitioners at: http://icpa4kids.org/Find-a-Chiropractor/
FOR AUSTIN EXPECTING READERS INTERESTED IN CHIROPRACTIC CARE DURING PREGNANCY, WE’VE GOT A SPECIAL GIFT OF COMPLIMENTARY SERVICES FOR THE FIRST FIVE NEW PATIENTS WHO MENTION AUSTIN EXPECTING WHEN SCHEDULING THIR FIRST APPOINTMENT WITH DR. JULIA PINKERTON.
Dr. Julia Pinkerton practices at Austin Life Chiropractic in North Central Austin, Texas. She has been certified through the ICPA in the Webster Technique and completed the full chiropractic pediatric diplomate program. She is also trained as a doula. Taking care of moms and their children is her passion. Austin Life Chiropractic has been servicing Austin’s families for 23 years through quality chiropractic care. Formerly Patzer Family Chiropractic, as Dr. Bart Patzer was the main attending chiropractor, the name changed to Austin Life Chiropractic when Dr. Pinkerton joined the practice 3.5 years ago. Their specialties include: prenatal chiropractic, pediatric chiropractic and upper cervical care.
To learn more about Julia, check out:
Julia Pinkterton, D.C.
Austin Life Chiropractic
2700 W. Anderson Lane, Ste. 509
Austin, TX 78757
Linkedin: Julia Pinkerton
Google Plus: Austin Life Chiropractic
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