The Webster Technique – Pregnancy or Breech Babies?
So most pregnant women want their pregnancy and birth to be as natural as possible because their primary focus is on having a healthy child. As a chiropractor, I’m passionate about this, and as a woman I get that you can feel pretty precious and sensitive when pregnant.
Sadly, most people think they know what chiropractors do. As a profession we have become associated with forceful adjustments to the spine, associated with a release of tension and pain, and not much else. I graduated in 2003 and have lost count of the times people say – oh but you can’t help me, I don’t have a bad back…… or worse that that – “I know what you do and I don’t like it….”
So let me say: Not all chiropractors “crack” the back and more are moving towards what we call “tonal techniques” and to the general public are better described as “low force” or often “no force” techniques. Personally I adjust people so gently people have been known to ask if I’ve done anything, yet the benefits are so profound they come back over and over.
Webster technique is something that chiropractors have used for decades to help pregnant women around the world, and I’d like to share how it’s been used in our practice for many years.
Chiropractic based on 3 simple premises
Your body is self-healing and self-correcting.
The nervous system is the master control system in the body. Optimal function of the nervous system results in optimal health
Any distortions to the pelvis or spine (the protective system of the nervous system) can interfere with optimal health
“A chiropractic adjustment called the Webster technique is a specific sacral adjustment to help facilitate the mother's pelvic alignment and nerve system function. This in turn balances pelvic muscles and ligaments, reduces torsion to the uterus.”
So for someone who is pregnant, at least for most women their goals are pretty similar. They want their baby to be healthy and to develop normally. Ideally they want an easy pregnancy and a straightforward natural birth.
So what could chiropractic and Webster technique have to do with this?
Many women suffer from back pain, fatigue, generalized aches and pains, headaches and heart burn during pregnancy. A smaller group develop the painful conditions of SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction) where even walking can be impossible.
The Webster technique is aimed at the group who want their baby to have the best possible environment to grow and expand in to. One of the things we observe in Websters is often post adjustment the “bump” appears bigger. This is because the ligaments to the uterus relax as a result of the adjustment. I like to think of the Uterus as a balloon anchored in place by 4 ligaments – 2 attach at the front, 2 at the back. Any twisting or torsion on the pelvis can tighten up these ligaments, reducing the space for the baby to grow and develop in. In some cases this twisting can result in the baby lying transverse or breech. Release of the pelvis and ligaments has been associated with re-positioning of the foetus in several papers. When someone is pregnant we wont necessarily do Websters on every visit but we will check if it’s necessary. If the indicators aren’t there, we’ll check the full spine and do whatever is necessary to optimize function.
I was certified in the Webster approach in 2006 because I wanted to be the best I could for the pregnant ladies I cared for. It seemed like an essential skill in care for this particular group. Chiropractic has long been associated with quicker, easier births with less medical intervention which is a goal for so many of the women I’ve seen.
Many ladies do come to us late in pregnancy to see if we can help with a breech or transverse presentation. Many but not all get what they want and we use a variety of approaches to help them. We are both Webster certified and see it as a valuable tool in our toolkit. Others work with us even prior to conception to ensure that their body is in the best possible state to host a baby for 9 months. The choice is theirs, and it’s always a privilege to support them on what is one of the most amazing journeys.
By Rachael Talbot © 2016
For further details about Rachel's work visit http://www.naturallyempowered.co.uk/
 MLA Citation: Drobbin, Danielle, & La Rosa, Sarah. “Resolution of Transverse Breech Pregnancy Following Administration of Chiropractic Using the Webster Technique: A Case Study & Selective Review of the Literature.” Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health. 2015.1 (2015): 9-14.
 Application of the Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique: A Case Series Kunau, PL. J of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol 3 No. 1, 1998.