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By: Dr. Julie Wyss BS, DC, Webster Certified

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, chronic ear infections, headaches, colitis, leg cramping, autism, scoliosis and many conditions are often the result of a difficult birth. Not of the mom. We are referring to the stress of delivery on the baby.

Imagine being squeezed through a 10 centimeter opening. Someone grabs your head and pulls on it with 140 pounds of force. Then there are the forceps, the vacuum extraction and the Caesarean section methods. The stress of delivery can have an enormous effect on the function and alignment of a baby’s delicate vertebrae, nerves and spinal cord, possibly causing a host of health problems if the nervous system doesn’t function normally.

Chiropractic care benefits all aspects of your body’s ability to be healthy.

This is accomplished by working with the nervous system—the conduit of internal intelligence between your brain and body. Chiropractors work to correct subluxations, the misalignment of the individual spinal bones. When subluxated, these vertebrae, especially the sacrum, put pressure on the spinal cord and the spinal nerves, causing malfunction in parts of the body and ultimately dystocia or a difficult birth for a laboring mom.

One such malfunction is the tightening of pelvic muscles and ligaments to produce a change in the way the uterus functions. This is called “in-uterine constraint.” It’s these tense muscles and ligaments and their constraining effect on the uterus that prevents the baby from comfortably assuming the normal vertex (head-down) position.

A Safe and Successful Approach

Dr. Larry Webster, founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association in Georgia, developed a specific and safe technique to restore the proper pelvic structure and function of pregnant women. It’s called “The Webster Technique.”

This technique is a specific chiropractic sacral analysis and diversified adjustment with related soft tissue release for correcting subluxations in all weight baring individuals especially the pregnant woman’s sacrum and pelvis. The adjustment reduces the effects of subluxation and/or SI joint dysfunction allowing for neuro-biomechanical function. In other words, it relaxes the mother’s pelvic muscles and ligaments, providing the physiological environment necessary for normal baby positioning. This is very important for a baby in the last trimester of pregnancy. There is little room for the infant to turn and he can become constrained within the uterus. The head of the baby can be forced onto his shoulder, or the knee can rest upon the face or the spine bends to the side.

Babies who assume these positions can usually free themselves with little difficulty. Prior to delivery, the baby should normally assume the head-down position in readiness for being born. This type of position is easiest for delivery. Often however, the baby will be in the opposite position— head up. This is called a breech position and makes birth more difficult.

When a Baby is Breech

In expectant mothers presenting with a baby in a breech or any other position except vertex position, The Webster Technique has shown a 75 to 95 percent success rate of allowing the baby to assume the normal vertex position.

It has been strongly recommended by trained doctors that this technique be used throughout pregnancy to detect subluxations and prevent dystocia or intra-uterine constraint. Because this technique has been so successful and totally pain-free, many women across the USA have been asking their obstetricians, physicians and midwives to refer them to a pediatric chiropractor who is certified in its use.

Because of the effect the chiropractic adjustment has on all body functions, all pregnant women should have their spines checked regularly utilizing The Webster Technique through pregnancy to optimize health for themselves and their developing baby. Many of our moms after experiencing pregnancies and delivery with and without proper pregnancy specific chiropractic care report much more comfortable, easier, safer, relaxed and faster births because of the improved neuro- biomechanics of the mom’s pelvis and ligaments. What mother wouldn’t want a more relaxed and calm start for their newborn child!

Chiropractic care from conception and continued after birth for both mother and child into old age has given many families an opportunity for greater health. Contact your Pediatric and Pregnancy trained chiropractor today to experience it firsthand!