The Webster Technique: A Sought Out Technique for Pregnant Women

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You have probably heard about the Webster Technique– the chiropractic technique used in pregnancy to help optimize the mother’s pelvic function. It has been widely covered on natural birthing sites, and has become a conversation piece in the pregnancy circles, perhaps your doctor of chiropractic has discussed it with you as well.

The Webster Technique, discovered by Dr. Larry Webster, in 1978, founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), is a specific chiropractic adjustment to eliminate sacral misalignment and improve nerve system function. He developed it as a specific sacral adjustment for pregnant women to help balance pelvic muscles and ligaments and potentially improve birth outcome. The first woman who came into his practice and had this technique applied was pregnant with a breech baby. Shortly after beginning care, the baby turned to a head down position. Dr. Webster continued to offer this adjustment for all pregnant mothers in his practice. For those presenting breech, he claimed a 95% rate of these babies assuming a more optimal positioning for birth. This led to great interest by chiropractors, birth providers and mothers seeking options for safer, easier natural births.

With the growing amount of interventions pregnant women are exposed to during pregnancy and birth, it is becoming harder and harder for women to have safe, natural childbirths. At the same time, with the increasing awareness of the potential harm and lack of evidence to support these interventions, women are seeking health care options in their pregnancy that support natural childbirth.

The World Health Organization (WHO) proposed 15% as the highest acceptable limit for cesarean section rates. Currently, the C-section rate has risen to mid-30% in the US. In some areas, the C- section rate is as high as 90%! Preliminary findings are showing that chiropractic care throughout pregnancy improves the mother’s overall function, her quality of life and may contribute to easier, safer births with less intervention. Decreasing the number of caesareans by minimizing the potential for dystocia with chiropractic care is a strategy that will have a wide range of Public Health impact.

The Webster Technique is similar to many chiropractic sacral adjustments. First there is an analysis to confirm sacral alignment. Then there is a light force thrust applied to the sacrum for correction. The adjustment is gentle and effective in establishing alignment in the pelvis which is of course imperative for safer, easier more natural births.

Although best known for its use in pregnancy, the Webster Technique is a valuable chiropractic adjustment that has been shown to improve function in all populations.

Because of its potential to facilitate easier, safer deliveries for both mother and baby, many birth care providers and mothers are actively seeking doctors of chiropractic with the skills in this technique. The ICPA recognizes those chiropractors who have achieved and maintained their certification with the ICPA. They are listed on the ICPA website: www.icpa4kids.org

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Provided by Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, published by ICPA, Inc. For more information visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org and www.icpa4kids.org

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