The Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic technique utilized when a baby is in breech position.  This  technique is defined as a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment that reduces interference to the nerve system and facilitates balance in the pelvic and abdominal muscles and ligaments.  This in turn reduces constraint to the woman’s uterus allowing the baby to get into the best possible position for birth.  It does not involve aggressive, manual turning of the fetus.  Webster is a non-invasive technique that allows the baby freedom to move if there is no physiological barrier.

Changes in hormonal balance are necessary to maintain a healthy pregnancy.  It is these hormonal changes, however, that contribute to some common discomforts experienced throughout pregnancy.  Increased progesterone levels create smooth muscle relaxation, allowing for expansion of the uterus.  Elevated levels of relaxin cause ligamentous laxity.  The combined effects of these two hormones cause postural changes that may stress the muscles and ligaments of the low back, pelvis, and abdomen.  Consequently, pubic pain, low back pain, and sacroiliac joint pain are commonly experienced due to loss of joint stability.  Chiropractic can be utilized throughout pregnancy to alleviate these common complaints.  Gentle chiropractic adjustments are applied in order to restore proper joint alignment and motion.

Postural changes can also be contributed to alterations in gait and stance.  Gradual weight gain combined with increased joint laxity causes these changes. As a result, loss of coordination and increased risk of injury may develop.   Doctors of chiropractic are qualified to prescribe stretches and exercises to enhance proper posture.

Now, let's talk about labor and delivery.  Two of the primary causes of C-sections are cephalopelvic disproportion and improper polarity of contractions.  Cephalopelvic disproportion occurs when the baby's head is too large to pass through the mother's pelvic brim.  Often times, this condition can be attributed to improper alignment of the mother's pelvis during labor.  This misalignment decreases the size of the pelvic opening and interferes with the progression of labor. This makes perfect sense when you consider all of the mothers who have had a vaginal birth after c-section (VBAC) and delivered even bigger babies with subsequent pregnancies.  Doctors of chiropractic are trained to recognize even the slightest misalignments of the pelvis in order to ensure an adequate passageway for delivery.  

Improper polarity of contractions occurs when uterine contractions are not causing dilation and effacement of the cervix.  In other words, labor is not progressing.   Sometimes, this also can be attributed to pelvic subluxation.  A subluxation occurs when the joints of the spine misalign and place pressure on the spinal nerves, interfering with message transmission to the target tissues.  During pregnancy, subluxation is extremely common as a result of increased joint laxity and postural changes as outlined previously.  Chiropractic adjustments are utilized to properly align the bones of the spine and pelvic, reducing pressure that is placed on the nerves of the sacrum.  This allows proper nerve transmission to the muscles and ligaments of the pelvis and abdomen and normal labor progression.

Optimal fetal positioning can enhance chiropractic treatments and further encourage delivery near the estimated due date.  The ideal position for the fetus going into labor is head down with the body of the baby lying on the anterior aspect of the mother's abdomen on the left side.  Many modern positions that mothers-to-be find comfortable hinder this presentation.  For example, spending the last month of pregnancy in a recliner or traveling in a car with bucket seats can encourage the baby to settle into the posterior aspect of the mother's uterus.  Pregnant women should avoid body positions in which the knees are elevated above the pelvis and avoid crossing the legs.  Spending time on all four hands and knees or sitting on a birthing ball can encourage optimal fetal positioning.

Studies indicate that chiropractic care throughout pregnancy may significantly reduce labor time and the incidence of back labor. Research concludes that first time moms experience a 24% reduction in average labor lengths

The physiological changes that occur throughout a healthy pregnancy can result in a multitude of symptoms.  These may include morning sickness, constipation, fatigue, and more.  Many of these symptoms can be managed with some slight modifications of the diet.  

"Morning" sickness occurs in approximately 50% of pregnancies.  Some women experience aversions to tastes and smells.  Some women feel slightly nauseous.  Others experience vomiting, occasionally severe enough to lead to dehydration.  One tip for combating these bothersome symptoms is to never allow yourself to feel famished or full.   Eat small meals frequently.  Keep a box of crackers next to the bed to munch on first thing in the morning.  Try to remain comfortably satisfied.

Frequent small meals will also help to alleviate the symptoms of fatigue that occur most predominantly in the first and third trimesters.  This dietary behavior allows blood sugar levels to remain constant.  This will decrease fluctuations in energy levels that often occur throughout the day.  High protein foods and complex carbohydrates provide longer lasting energy than foods high in simple sugars.  Choose whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, nuts, eggs and fruits and vegetables over their modified counter-parts, like white rice and bread.

A good rule of thumb in order to prevent dehydration and constipation is to drink half of your weight in ounces.  For example, if you weigh 130 pounds, you need to drink 65 ounces of fluid each day.  Caffeinated beverages are counterproductive.  They are actually diuretic in nature and should be limited.     

The high progesterone levels that are required to maintain a healthy pregnancy also cause smooth muscle relaxation in the gastro-intestinal tract, thus slowing digestion.  As a result, constipation and heartburn often occur.   Choosing foods high in fiber such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables may alleviate the extent of discomfort.