Webster Technique : The Best Choice To Address A Breech Baby

Webster Technique- The Best Choice To Address A Breech Baby - Chiropractic

Susan was a first-time mom who had reached her 35th week of pregnancy with no complications. She was that annoying pregnant woman who still fit into her size four jeans and did have a “bump”, not a beach ball. Her pregnancy had gone beyond her expectations, and she had loved every minute. However, today she received some disturbing news. Her baby is breech. The doctor couldn’t tell her when or why it had happened, but this little “pea-pod” was now head-up and feet-down. Not the ideal position for labor.

Susan crossed the threshold of my practice, marking her first time in a chiropractic office. She had come at the urging of her doctor who suggested chiropractic might be helpful with the positioning of the baby. During the examination, I could tell she was unsure and fearful.

The Webster Technique Is A Safe And Effective Technique For Addressing A Breech Baby

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I have had dozens of “Susans” over the years. When I received my pregnancy and pediatrics certification cases like Susan’s started to appear weekly. Women who have been told they have a baby in the wrong position, snap into action. They look for answers. No one wants a complicated delivery.

Unfortunately, the medical community has limited offerings for a woman with a baby who is in the wrong position. The choices are External Cephalic Version and C-Section. Not great options. C-Section, for obvious reasons (like having your abdominal muscles cut in half,) is an outcome most women want to avoid.

External Cephalic Version, on the other hand, is the kookiest procedure offered to pregnant woman I have come across. The suggestion is this; “Let’s lie you on your back and force your baby into the right position.” I don’t use the word “force” benignly. If you have seen a demonstration of a Version procedure, and I have, it is frightening. But aside from the intensity of it, it simply doesn’t work. Okay, it does work according to THIS,  and THIS study but in 20 years of practice, I have had many patients share past pregnancy stories in their initial history and not one that had the Version Procedure had a successful “turning” of their baby. I even interviewed a local doctor who is the “expert” at Version Procedures in my area, and he stated that maybe 20% will turn (a little different than the wildly ranging study stats 30-69%). 20% in the field of practice are not great odds.

Let’s step back a minute. When a woman presents with a baby in the wrong position, we are failing her. We are not asking the right question. We need to take a moment to consider together, “Why is this baby in the wrong position?”

There are two reasons.

  • There is a problem with the space availability or orientation of space within the uterus.
  • There is something occurring that is causing baby’s innate intelligence to say “this is the best, safest position for me, at this moment.” (think other complicating factors)

Our treatment of breach babies should be about how we respond to these two scenarios.

In the first scenario, we have to look to the apartment the baby is currently residing in for answers.

In most cases of breach or abnormal lie the space that the baby is sitting in is confined because of a restriction of the pelvic joints or the Sacro-iliac joints. (Think how common pregnancy related back, hip or pelvic pain is!) Corresponding to this, the round ligament (thick ligament on the side of the tummy) on the opposite side to that stuck Sacro-iliac joint is often restricted creating a torque or twisting away from the perfect uterine position. Think of this environment as a bad floor plan, or crappy square footage for the baby’s apartment.

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So considering that this may be the most common cause of breach or abnormal lie what options does a mother have other than forcing the baby into the proper position? 

The best alternative option available is a simple chiropractic technique called the WEBSTER TECHNIQUE. It is a straight-forward adjustment that simply removes the restriction in the SI joint and releases the restricted Round Ligament on the opposite side. Think “expanding square footage” or “better floor plan” of that apartment. The treatment is not painful, is very safe and only takes 1-6 visits.

[Tweet “The Webster Technique Addresses Malpositioning Of Baby. “]

The WEBSTER TECHNIQUE does not TURN the baby. The technique opens up space within the uterus and reduces any misalignment of the pelvis so baby can turn him or herself into the appropriate position. If the baby does not turn then, we trust there is a good reason. We respect the intelligence of the baby and the mother’s body.

But the good news is with the simple application of  WEBSTER TECHNIQUE most babies will end up in the right position, thereby avoiding any unnecessary interventions.

OTHER OPTIONS FOR MOTHER’S WITH BREECH OR ABNORMAL LIE:

  • Acupuncture: I have often combined THE WEBSTER TECHNIQUE with a suitably trained acupuncturist who knows how to perform Moxibustion Treatment for abnormal lie.
  • Swimming: Sounds crazy but swimming and playing in water, including slow somersaults have had some positive effect. No studies to my knowledge.
  • Inversions at home: There are several ways to get inverted at home. You can kneel on the couch and then place hands on the floor in front of you. You can also fill in the spaces in your stairs and then carefully lie back with your head down the stairs. ALWAYS have a spotter with inversion at home and if you feel lightheaded or breathless stop immediately.

Check out this ARTICLE for additional options when considering treatment for abnormal lie presentation of a baby. 

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If you know someone with breech, transverse or any abnormal position of the baby I encourage you to suggest a pregnancy certified chiropractor to them. Direct them to this article and the links included. 

 

 

Want more information? I just recorded a podcast with Dr. Laura Brayton for The “Wellness Minded Mama” on the subject of WEBSTER TECHNIQUE. Click below. 

You can find a WEBSTER CERTIFIED chiropractor HERE

 If you liked this post you will do backhand springs for these:

WALKING WORKOUT WITH ARMS: GET READY FOR RIPPED

SAVE SPACE AND MONEY WITH THESE HOME GYM MUST HAVES

RESOURCES: 

WEBSTER TECHNIQUE DEFINED

SPINNING BABIES PROFESSIONAL HELP

BREACH AND THE WEBSTER TECHNIQUE

EXTERNAL CEPHALIC VERSION – AMERICAN FAMILY PHYSICIAN

EXTERNAL CEPHALIC VERSION – UP TO DATE

ICPA4KIDS – WEBSTER TECHNIQUE

GREAT WEBSTER TECHNIQUE STUDY 

37 Responses

  1. This is so interesting. I am about to be 31 and TTC so I’m glad I came across this article just in case. So many new things to learn about! Glad to hear the only option doesn’t have to immediately be a C Section. I reallllly don’t want to have to go through that (although I have a lot of friends say they preferred it!?).

  2. This is so informative. I’ve never heard of the Webster technique before. Thanks for sharing. I love to be informed even if it’s just to mention to other moms in the future.

    1. Thanks, Dani. I love getting the word out that things don’t have to be a total disaster if baby is not in the right position.

  3. Such great information. I’d never heard of the Webster technique before. Luckily, my baby was in the right position the first time around. With the twins, I had an emergency C-section. I’ll be passing this info along to my pregnant friends. Thank you!

    1. Glad to hear it! But regular chiropractor care through pregnancy can increase the chance of a safe, short delivery and quick recovery! SO don’t rule it out as part of your wellness plan for next time around.

  4. Interesting info! A good friend of mine just had her second child via c-section due to him being breech. This is helpful for any future pregnancies!

  5. Such important information – thank you! My friend went into labor with a breech baby and was determined to have an all-natural labor with no epidural, and it was the longest, toughest time of her life but everything worked out so well in the end and she’s so happy with the decisions that she and her doctors made. I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being as informed as possible so you can feel more confident in your decisions.

    1. That is for sure. If a woman makes the choice to have a C-Section (or any other birth plan) in the end and she is aware and has exercised all other options I applaud her. Her body, her choice. xo

  6. I’m 7.5 months pregnant now and fortunately I haven’t had any back or hip pain. The only thing slowing me down is tiredness. Interesting read though.
    – Amanda Shuman | Carrylove Designs

    1. Remember that regular chiropractic care through pregnancy has little to do with back or hip pain. There are so many benefits to making sure your pelvis is in alignment and functioning well for labor. Also, adjustments ensure that your nervous system is functioning optimally and that is great for baby’s development. Best of luck on your upcoming bundle of joy!

  7. This post is so spot on. I’m 33 weeks pregnant and my baby is side-lying. I really hope he can move into the vertex position by himself. But I’m seeing a chiropractor for my sciatic pain and he specializes in Webster technique. He suggested we try one if the baby doesn’t turn.
    I’m also against external version and Webster technique is the only option besides home exercises, that I might try.

    1. Iryna! Thank you for commenting. I really appreciate someone reading this article who is benefiting from the Webster Technique. I wish all wellness in your delivery. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Hi Heather, I’m not a mum so this post doesn’t exactly relate to me – however I wish you well and anything you can teach new mum is always a blessing I feel. xx

    1. Thanks for stopping by , Anna. Please pass the info onto anyone you know who is pregnant. 🙂

  9. Very informative post. I was always nervous about these things when I had my kids. Thankfully there is good information like this out there for people who might experience it.

    1. So much more information than there used to be, right Ivanna? It is nice to know that as a pregnant woman you have options and you can make informed decisions about your birthing plan.

    1. Thanks, Mia! I appreciate it. Good to get it into the hands of all pregnant mums just in case.

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