Chiropractic in Pregnancy for Safer Births
This past April I began my training with the ICPA, International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, by becoming certified with the Webster Technique. Check out what Dr. Jeanne Ohm has to say about it!
The Webster Technique: A Technique for Pregnant Women
Written by Jeanne Ohm, D.C.
You have seen the Webster Technique — that chiropractic technique to help pregnant mothers with breech babies — featured on The Learning Channel’s hit series “A Baby Story.” You have read about it in Mothering magazine and Midwifery Today. You have seen it on the Internet. You have heard it talked about by birthing professionals. Perhaps potential patients have asked you about it. But what is it?
The Webster Technique, discovered by Dr. Larry Webster, founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), is a specific chiropractic adjustment for pregnant mothers. It is a chiropractic technique designed to relieve the causes of intrauterine constraint.
Formerly known as Webster’s “In-Utero Constraint Technique” or “Webster’s Breech Turning Technique,” the Webster Technique was developed by Dr. Webster in 1978. For over 20 years, it has been highly successful in relieving intrauterine constraint and allowing babies to get into the best possible position for birth.
What is intrauterine constraint? Intrauterine constraint is defined as any forces external to the developing fetus that obstructs the normal movement of the fetus. Intrauterine constraint can prevent the developing fetus from attaining a head down vertex position and achieving a vaginal birth, resulting in cesarean section delivery. Today, nearly 13% of all cesarean deliveries performed are due to breech presentation.
In 1985, the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed 15% as the highest acceptable limit for cesarean section rates. This figure was based on the cesarean section rates of countries with the lowest perinatal mortality rates in the world. In 1991, the figure was adopted as a goal for the year 2000 by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Currently, approximately 4.6 % of all singleton pregnancies develop into breech presentation and the incidence of perinatal mortality with breech presentation is approximately four times that of a vertex presentation. While many infants in breech presentation before 34 weeks will convert spontaneously to a cephalic presentation, few will do so afterward.
Decreasing the number of caesareans for breech presentation has been offered as a strategy to reach the Healthy People 2000 goal of 15% cesarean section rate. The importance of preventing intrauterine constraint and subsequent cesarean section delivery is apparent, considering in the United States approximately 22% of all births were cesarean section deliveries. In Canada the incidence of cesarean section ranges from 15%-22%, depending on the province. The Webster Technique is a chiropractic means of decreasing the number of cesareans for breech presentation.
Performance of the Webster Technique involves analysis of the relationship of the bones of the pelvis, and correction of aberrant biomechanics through the use of a light force chiropractic adjustment of the sacrum (Step 1). It also involves analysis and relief of …