Wednesday 17 August 2016

Breech Birth - Can Chiropractic help?

The safest and optimal way to give birth naturally is to have the baby’s head facing downward, toward the birth canal, however, 3-5% of woman will have a breech birth baby at the time of birth. A breech presentation means that the baby’s head is pointing upward towards the ribs, and their bottom is down into the birth canal.

A technique developed by a man named Larry Webster (later termed the “Webster Technique”), was created for chiropractors to help woman later in pregnancy whose baby is breech, it is used to help ease the natural birth process.  

So how does it work?  

It is important to remember that the chiropractor does not “turn” the baby.  Manual therapies are used to help relax the ligaments and muscles around the pelvis and uterus. The baby then has more room to move and is in a more relaxed environment that will better allow him/ her to turn. 
The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) says that it helps to restore balance in the pregnant woman’s pelvis. It also contributes to reducing undue stress to the mother’s uterus and supporting ligaments which can help to reduce back pain related to the pregnancy. 
The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported an 82% success rate of babies turning when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique (ICPA, 2016)

When should you see the chiropractor? 

Almost all babies present breech until about 37 weeks, however, seeking a chiropractor four weeks before the due date, so around 36 weeks, is a good idea. Since the baby is smaller, they will have more room to turn within the uterus compared to waiting until days before the baby is due.  The longer a woman waits, and the closer to the due date, the less likely this manual technique will be successful. 

If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, talk to your chiropractor to see how they can help optimise the chances of conceiving and help you through your pregnancy. They can also give you more information on the Webster technique or refer you to someone that specialises in pre-natal chiropractic. 

There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. All chiropractors are trained to work with women who are pregnant. 

Approximately 50% of pregnant women experience some back pain, with 10 percent reporting severe discomfort that prevents them from carrying out their daily routines. Chiropractic can help to relieve this pain, assist with regular daily life and reduce the risk of trouble during childbirth.

About the author

Dr Stacia Kelly is a chiropractor at Ottawa Holistic Wellness Clinic, located in centre town Ottawa. The clinic has over 15 different wellness practitioners. They work as a team and consider individuals symptoms to provide a real holistic approach, which enables them to identify and treat the underlying causes of your issues to give deep, long lasting healing.

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