Dr. Dana Poeta, DC, MA
Did you know that chiropractic care during pregnancy is extremely safe? Not only is it safe but it actually has many benefits for both the mother and baby. Webster is a prenatal chiropractic technique that is taught by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA). As a Webster Certified Chiropractor, I find myself frequently educating and answering questions about the goals associated with this technique. I am going to discuss some of the common questions that I find myself answering.
What is Webster Technique trying to achieve?
The goal of Webster is to align the pelvis so that it is optimal for childbirth. Through a specific analysis, the pelvis is assessed for sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction. SI joint dysfunction can occur in anyone, but with the extra weight from carrying a developing baby it is commonly found in pregnant women. Having dysfunction with the SI joint may lead to difficult childbirth. Since the pelvis is shaped like a ring, SI joint dysfunction can lead to compensatory dysfunction on the anterior aspect of the pelvis as well. As a result, this can lead to tightening of ligaments, particularly the round ligament. The round ligament is a ligament that contains muscular fibers and is only found in women, since it attaches onto the uterus. When this ligament becomes tightened it can lead to intrauterine constraints for the baby. Through gentle adjustments on the pelvis and manual soft tissue on the round ligament, pelvic dysfunction is improved.
Why do breech babies flip following Webster technique?
It is very common that breech babies flip following a Webster adjustment. The chiropractor performing the adjustment is NOT manually flipping the baby. The baby is now able to flip into the head down position because the sacroiliac and pelvic dysfunction leading to intrauterine constraint have been eliminated. This means that the baby has room to easily and effectively turn him/herself around. In a study conducted by the ICPA (2002), it was found that by addressing the musculoskeletal causes of intrauterine constraint by using the Webster Technique, 92% of Webster certified practitioners were able to resolve the breech presentation.
Is Webster only for moms who have a breech baby?
Webster technique aims to improve the comfort levels of the mom and baby throughout pregnancy and childbirth, regardless of the baby’s presentation. The fact that breech baby’s have a tendency to turn into the head down position following treatment validates the achievement of optimal pelvic alignment while still being safe for the baby.
Is Webster the only way to treat a pregnant woman?
With all of the changes, both physical and hormonal, associated with pregnancy, moms are likely to experience many different sources of pain including (but not limited to): headaches, sciatica, low back and mid back pain. Whatever the complaint, it can be assessed and treated by a chiropractor without causing any harm to the baby. In fact, I commonly use other soft tissue techniques and adjustments in conjunction with Webster protocol, depending on my patient’s complaints. Webster technique is going to be beneficial to pregnant moms, but it is not the only way that a mom can receive treatment during pregnancy.
I hope I have been able to address some of your questions about chiropractic care and pregnancy. If you have any further inquiries, please contact me.