Chiropractic care refers to a form of healthcare that does not use drugs or surgery to achieve and maintain optimal health. Instead, chiropractors offer modalities such a as joint manipulation, adjustments, rehabilitation, and nutritional therapies.
Many soon-to-be moms have heard of the Webster Technique. But what exactly is The Webster Technique?
The Webster Technique was developed in 1978 by Dr. Larry Webster as a specific adjustment for pregnant women. The purpose is to ease the cause of intrauterine constraint.
The Webster Technique is often described as a “breech turning technique”. This is not accurate. When the Webster Technique is done, no forces are placed on the baby to try and turn the baby. The purpose of The Webster Technique is to get the baby to turn by itself.
What is intrauterine constraint?
Intrauterine constraint is defined as 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 thus resulting in a breech presentation and most likely a cesarean section. Today, nearly 13% of all cesarean deliveries performed are due to breech presentation.
The Webster Technique is a specialized chiropractic adjustment to help realign the pelvis and the sacrum in pregnant women, as well as balance the pelvic muscles. This in-turn removes torsion on the woman’s uterus, relieves the constraint on the baby and allows the baby to get into an optimal position for delivery.
The World Health Organization states that no area should have higher than a 10-15% c-section rate. Currently the average rate in the United States is 30%, with some hospitals even higher! By helping the baby get into the optimal position and preventing breech position the Webster Technique is an excellent tool to help decrease the c-section rate.
Currently the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) has the only database of Webster Technique certified chiropractors. You can visit their website at ICPA4kids.org.
It is important to not wait until there is a problem to seek care. Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy can help to maintain normal spinal alignment and allow for the best pregnancy possible.
Posture Changes During Pregnancy
Pregnancy should be a time of joy for expectant mothers. Sometimes due to postural changes during pregnancy a women can experience discomfort and pain.
Your lower back should normally have a slight curve in it. As the women’s belly grows more weight is distributed to the front of her body and that curve increases significantly. The abdominal muscles also stretch and weaken which allow for the low back curve to increase. An increase in the low back curve puts a lot of pressure on the posterior joints and ligaments of the spine. This also causes the women to bring her head and shoulders forward to try and compensate for the increased lower back curve. The increased breast size and weight will also cause a woman to bring her head and shoulders forward. When shoulders are rounded forward this can cause headaches, make breathing more difficult as well as digestion.
Pregnant women also have a higher degree of ligament laxity. This is normal and allows the pelvis to open as the baby passes through the birth canal. However, this higher degree of ligament laxity can cause joints to become hypermobile and thus causes pain.
Posture of the lower extremities also changes. In order to be able to stand upright with the weight of her growing belly, the pregnant women will tend to push her knees back into a hyperextended position. This can cause a lot of stress on the knee joints. The feet also tend to become flatter, so the woman has a broader base to stand on and carry the additional weight.
Posture changes are inevitable during pregnancy, but there are some things you can do to help limit the consequences from this change of posture.
•Don’t wear high heels. This will increase your low back curve even more
• Consider wearing a pregnancy belt
• Keep your abdominals and low back contracted, keeping your buttock tucked
• Don’t cross your legs when sitting– this decreases circulation
• Avoid slouching when sitting
• Sit so your knees are level with your hips
• When laying on your side, place a pillow between your knees and under your abdomen
• If you have a young child– switch which hip you carry them on, this is also for laundry or groceries. By switching sides you will help to keep your pelvis and low back aligned.
• Exercise– only with the approval of your physician
• Chiropractic care
Chiropractic care can not only help with aches and pain of pregnancy due to postural changes but it also helps to keep the pelvis aligned, which is very important for the actual birth of the child.
Husband & wife team Drs. Brian and Lindsey own Complete Chiropractic in Wescosville and treat infants through seniors. Dr. Lindsey has advanced certifications in pediatrics and is certified in the Webster Technique. Dr. Brian has a special interest in treating athletes and specializes in soft tissue treatments like myofascial release and trigger point therapy. Their office is located at 5930 Hamilton Blvd #8, Allentown, Pa 18106, and you may reach them by telephone at (610)841-2204. They also accept many health insurance plans. www.completechirocenter.com