Can You Turn My Breech Baby? Chiropractic Webster Technique, myth or reality?
As a chiropractor specializing in pregnancy care, I get patients coming in all the time, late in pregnancy with a baby that "needs to be turned". They look for me because I'm certified in Webster Technique.
I am usually the first to explain to these wonderful mamas that the idea that Webster chiropractic can "turn babies" is a myth. "But my midwife said you've turned lots of her clients babies!"
The great news is that yes, many of my patients end up with a properly positioned baby after a short course of chiropractic treatment with the Webster technique. If you think I can't make up my mind here, then read on!
Chiropractors do NOT turn babies. The only technique approved for actually physically turning a baby is known as an ECV (external cephalic version) performed by an obstetrician. This procedure involves the OB using their hands on the outside of the mothers belly to forcibly get the fetus to turn in the preferred position known as vertex or "head down".
So what is a chiropractor actually doing when performing the Webster technique for pregnancy and why does it have the reputation for "turning babies"?
The Webster technique can really be used on anybody, but was developed specifically for gentle use during pregnancy. It is an analysis of the pelvis, specifically the sacrum and the sacroiliac joints, followed by a correction of any perceived imbalance with an adjustment. Once this technique has been applied, the body can do its own magic.
Think about it. If you have to get a large object through a small opening, it is easier if the opening is fixed or flexible? As prenatal chiropractors, our job is to encourage proper balance and motion into the mothers pelvis, which allows the mother/baby dyad to function better together. In the case of a malpositioned baby (breech, transverse, posterior etc.), it is often a result of a restricted pelvis that doesn't have the motion to allow baby to position themselves correctly. So once we remove the restriction, baby can do what she's meant to do and get herself ready for delivery!
So, Webster Certified chiropractors do have an excellent track record of helping mamas get their babies into the desired position, BUT we aren't turning them!
While we're here, let's answer some frequently asked questions about the Webster technique.
My chiropractor says they can treat pregnant women, does that mean they're Webster certified?
No. While all chiropractors are trained in their doctoral program on how to safely treat a pregnant mother, we are not given much special training in how to EFFECTIVELY help pregnant mothers achieve better outcomes. A chiropractor must take specific continuing education to be obtain Webster Certification and learn how to better offer prenatal care.
Should I wait until I find out what position my baby is in to get chiropractic while pregnant
Preferably not. While Webster is still very effective even late into the third trimester, we prefer the baby to be in optimal position and moms pelvis to be balanced for as much of the pregnancy as possible. This generally makes for a more comfortable pregnancy and better birth outcomes. Also, if baby needs to turn himself, it's easier when there is still some room for him to turn.
Is chiropractic safe during pregnancy?
yes. While there are some techniques we might stay away from just to ensure better outcomes, the Webster technique is specifically designed for pregnant mothers/babies.
Are there other things you provide other than Webster?
Yes, in our office. Not all Webster providers will offer the exact same level of care. There are many other pregnancy specific tools out there such as spinning babiesTM, myofascial release, craniosacral therapy and more that can be safely applied and very useful in aiding the pregnant mama. Here at Life.Naturally Chiropractic we offer a unique mixture of these methods and others to provide an advanced level of perinatal care.
How do I find a Webster Certified Chiropractor?
Dr. Katie O'Connor is a Webster Certified prenatal chiropractor. In practice for over 10 years, she is passionate about all things pregnancy and helping women have the best experience possible while becoming a mother.
16335 S. Harlem Ave
Tinley Park IL 60477