Many of us have heard about the benefits of receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy to reduce back pain. In fact, some main-stream medical doctors are beginning to recommend chiropractic treatments, including OB/GYN’s. The reality is that birth professionals such as doulas, midwives, lactation consultants, and childbirth educators have been bragging about the benefits of chiropractic care for longer than the medical professions have suggested our involvement. If you are a female of child-bearing years, you likely have heard of a friend or co-worker who has been under care during pregnancy, or maybe you even had received adjustments yourself during pregnancy.
Doctors of Chiropractic work with the body’s ability to adapt and function the way it was designed to, and chiropractic treatment helps support normal physiological function of the mother and baby in pregnancy and birth. For a mother, chiropractic treatments help prepare the pelvis for an easier pregnancy by creating balance in the pelvic joints, muscles, and ligaments. This is important to remove torsion of the uterine ligaments and therefore reduce tension in the uterus. Balancing the mother’s pelvis allows for greater room for the baby to develop and grow without restrictions, allowing the baby to move into the best possible position for birth.
Dystocia is the term used to describe abnormal labor and childbirth, and fetal dystocia can result in what we hear of as “breech” presentation. The frustrating part about dystocia is that if often can result in abnormal labor progression, which doctors describe as “failure to progress.” This may mean that a woman’s cervix is not dilating or that the fetus is not descending in an appropriate amount of time. “Failure to progress” is the number one reason for unplanned Cesarean delivery in the United States, and the current C-section rate in the United States hovers around 30%.
Reducing the need for a C-section is a goal for many mothers, and that’s where chiropractic care can shine! Created by Dr. Larry Webster, the Webster Technique is a specific analysis of the pelvis, followed by a corresponding adjustment and soft tissue release to help reduce tension and torsion in the pelvis and uterus. By creating a state of balance and proper nerve function in the pelvis, this technique has been widely observed to help allow a baby to find the optimal head-down position in the uterus. Chiropractic care reduces interference in the mother’s body, and the baby has less obstacles during their descent through the birth canal.
Outside from avoiding C-sections and other unnecessary birth interventions, chiropractors certified in Webster Technique are often well-versed in other pregnancy-related concerns. We can help support a mother to alleviate pregnancy-related discomfort, to educate mothers about birthing options and preferences, and to offer lifestyle recommendations to have healthy, happy pregnancies. We often give at-home recommendations about diet, exercise, and post-partum health to offer comprehensive support during the entire motherhood transition.
The next time you hear someone talk about their fears surround birth, think about recommending a chiropractor to be part of their pregnancy team. Reducing the need for unnecessary C-section delivery is an important discussion given the high rate in the United States. However, even if a woman is just hoping to reduce labor time, reduce labor pain, and improve overall pregnancy outcomes, Webster Technique is a safe, gentle, and effective way to achieve these goals. For the nearest Webster Technique certified chiropractor in your area, visit the ICPA website at https://icpa4kids.com/.
Boyle, Reddy et al. 2013
Perinatal Care, Jeanne Ohm. 2014