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Top Reasons for Webster Technique During Pregnancy

Posted by Jesse Lillejord on
What is Webster Technique and how can it serve you during your pregnancy? As experts in pregnancy chiropractic care, we share all about this technique and its benefits!
Webster Technique

Goals of Webster Technique :

1. Creating more space in the pelvis to encourage an optimal head down position for baby  
2. Back pain relief 
3. Pubic symphysis pain relief  [SPD
4. Round ligament pain relief
5. Preparing for labor/delivery - relieving tension in the pelvis is beneficial for all women to prepare for labor and delivery. Our ultimate goal with Webster Technique is to increase the adaptability of the pelvis to ease the stress of labor and delivery. 
6. ECV [ external cephalic version ] preparation
7. VBAC [ vaginal birth after cesarian ] preparation 

    What is Webster?

    The Webster Technique is a technique for pregnant women specifically performed by female chiropractic specialists. Starting at 30 weeks of pregnancy, this technique is used to optimize the natural physiology of the woman's body during the end stages of pregnancy - it is a great way to prepare for labor + delivery! 
    The technique involves muscle and ligament work in conjunction with pregnancy specific chiropractic adjustments. Using a specialized women’s pillow with areas for bellies and boobs, mama lays comfortably while we address any restrictions we find within the pelvis.
    Below we outline the different structural components to the Webster technique:  
    Webster technique during pregnancy

    Posterior Structures [ back side ] : 

    1. The sacrum determines the true "Webster side". Gentle, specific adjustments are delivered to this region of the pelvis using the drop table! 
    2. The piriformis muscle attaches to the sacrum directly and is often under increased tension during pregnancy as the pelvis opens to make room for baby.
    3. The sacrotuberous ligament attaches from the sacrum to your SITS bones on the back of the pelvis. This is often a point of tension in pregnant women because of the shifting of the pelvis.  
    Prenatal Chiropractor

    Anterior Structures [ front side ] : 

    1. The pubic bone is often very tender and can cause symptoms of SPD during pregnancy. Because Webster provides balance to the pelvis and involves the pubic bone directly, this technique is helpful for painful "lightening crotch" symptoms! 
    2. The psoas or "hip flexor" muscles are tight in MOST humans. The reason is because we sit more these days than we used to. During pregnancy, your pelvis tilts anterior [ forward ] and this causes increased strain on these muscles as they try and keep your center of balance. Working these muscles is an important component to Webster and pregnancy in general! 
    3. The round ligament attaches directly to the uterus. As belly grows, this "rope-like" ligament gets stretched and can result in sharp twinges of pain at the lower belly. We can work on this ligament using direct pressure to provide relief and reduce strain in this region! 
    Watch the full Webster Technique in this video below: 

    Flipping Breech Babies?

    You might hear people talk about Webster as a way to flip a breech baby [ baby is in the wrong position for delivery, depicted below ]. The Webster Technique is primarily performed to neutralize the pelvis and create space so that baby settles into the best position for labor & delivery [ typically head down ]. This relieves tension in mama + baby so they are most comfortable through pregnancy!
    breech babies

    Alternative Methods for Breech Babes: 

    1 . Spinning Babies: 

    There are many possible factors which may contribute to why a baby isn't turning into a head-down position. Often the most common cause is an imbalance [ asymmetry ] in mom's pelvis. Causes of pelvic imbalance could be / are not limited to: 
    - anterior placenta placement 
    - crossing our legs 
    - torquing of the torso due to long car rides / abrupt stops / fender benders 
    - carrying toddlers on a hip or other hip rotation causing activities 
    - serious falls / injuries 
    Spinning babies provides practical, helpful techniques to encourage more head-down position.
    One of these techniques is known as "Rebozo Sifting" and is depicted below. A rebozo (ree-bo-zo) is a shawl traditionally worn by Mexican women that can be used for comfort and to help labor progress. This technique has been used by midwives to aid in labor + delivery and also relieve intrauterine constraint possibly preventing baby from turning into a head-down position.  * You can use this shawl, or a similar scarf / towel that you might already have at home. 
    For more information see our full labor + delivery prep video! 
    Sifting + Spinning Babies

    2. Acupuncture / Moxibustion 

    Acupuncture or traditional Chinese Medicine is recommended to help relax any tight muscles or ligaments which could be preventing baby from obtaining an ideal position.  

     Moxibustion is a non-invasive therapy involving the burning of mugwort leaves near the little toe to produce a warming sensation. Mugwort is an herb which helps to enhance activity of baby, encouraging them to turn or "spin" into a head-down position.
    Success rates with moxibustion can range anywhere between  69% and 85% in successive clinical trials. Want more?? Read the literature here, here, and here

    3. ECV [ External Cephalic Version ] :

    If you do not have access to a Webster-certified practitioner in your area, another option is an ECV [ external cephalic version ] procedure.
    This technique involves an OB [ obstetrician ] manually manipulating the baby into a better position.
    The Webster Technique can be a wonderful adjunctive therapy for an EVC, to address any pelvic movement restrictions and increased pelvis adaptability, thus assisting in the flip. 
     *As always don't hesitate to reach out with questions /// thoughts surrounding this topic!*
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