What is the Webster Technique for turning breech babies?
by Stacey L. Jones, DC
Q. I've heard the Webster Technique can help my baby go from breech to head down. How is this done and does it really work?
A. One of our biggest fears when we are pregnant is that the baby will be in a breech or transverse position when it is time to deliver. Very few obstetricians will deliver a baby breech because of the risks; therefore, a cesarean section is scheduled.
You may have heard of many little tricks that may help to turn the baby- playing music near the pelvic area, laying with your bottom inclined above your head, burning incense near your little toe . . .
There is also a chiropractic technique that is widely used and very effective. The Webster Technique or Webster In-Utero Constraint Turning Technique involves assessing and correcting any misalignments (subluxations) in the pelvic and low back area. This helps to keep the ligaments and muscles, which support the uterus, relaxed. Since these ligaments and muscles attach to the bones of the pelvis, any shift in the alignment of the bones causes tightening of the ligaments and muscles. This can cause twisting and tension on the uterus, making it difficult for the baby to get into proper position. Correcting the misalignments allows for optimal uterine positioning and ultimately, a more favorable fetal position. The Webster Technique does not involve any type of moving of the baby itself, as with the external version procedure, and is absolutely safe.
Although the Webster Technique has a very high success rate- 75 - 95%, there are many other reasons, besides pelvic misalignments and tension on the uterus, which cause breech presentations--some of which cannot be reversed. It is important to talk with your obstetrician about your situation. You can locate a doctor in your area that is certified in the Webster Technique at the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.
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