Using the Webster Technique to turn a Breech Baby

Week after week as you get closer to your due date, your poor body is trying to keep up with the sometimes rapid growth of your baby.  This causes an increasing imbalance in your pelvis, spine, muscles, joints and nerve systems.

In addition, during your pregnancy, your body develops the hormone relaxin. Relaxin is essential in labour and birth as it allows for the strong ligaments in your pelvis to move.  That movement will assist you in using your pelvis to create more space when it comes time to birth your baby.

However, during pregnancy, this increasing pressure on relaxed muscles and ligaments can cause an imbalance in the spine and pelvic alignment. The problem with poor alignment is that an expectant mama could end up expecting a baby in the breech position.

Also, it is difficult for your baby to turn from a breech or a transverse position when your spine and pelvis are out of alignment.

Introducing, the Webster Technique

One technique used to attempt to realign the expectant mama’s spine and pelvis is the Webster Technique.  The late Larry Webster, D.C., of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, developed this chiropractic technique.

The main aim of the technique is to restore proper pelvic balance and function. Also, it aims to relax an expectant mother’s pelvis, uterus, and surrounding ligaments and help to realign the mother’s spine and central nervous system.

The benefit of a properly aligned spine and pelvis is that it is likely that the baby will present in the head down position.   In itself, proper chiropractic care during pregnancy is extremely beneficial to the mother and baby.

What does the Webster Technique do?

A Chiropractor can use the Webster Technique to attempt to relax your uterus. Thus, making it easier for your breech or transverse baby to turn naturally into the optimal foetal position for birth. The technique is a specific sacral adjustment. It should not be attempted by anyone other than a qualified professional with the appropriate training.

This technique has been found to be beneficial in relaxing the mother so that the baby can turn. Also, recent research reveals that when used throughout the pregnancy, it may prevent dystocia.

So, what happens during the adjustment?

The Chiropractor will look at the sacrum and the SI joints to test for misalignment by having you lie on your front (on a specially designed table). Next, they bend your legs at your knees to see which foot goes closer to your bottom.

Then, they will adjust the SI joint (a diversified sacral adjustment) on the side that does not go back the furthest.

It is likely the Chiropractor will then lay you on your side to further adjust your SI joint. When this happens, you may feel like you are going to fall off the table, but they should have you supported by their body.

After this, they will have you lie on your back, while they put pressure on the round ligament. The round ligament is found half way between the belly button and the Anterior Superior Iliac Spine (ASIS). The Chiropractor will feel for a knot in that ligament. When he finds the knot, he will hold pressure on it for about 30 seconds to a minute. During this time you should close your eyes, relax and visualise the baby moving into a head down position.

How long does it take the baby to turn?

The intention of this technique is not to turn the baby, so to speak.  The intention is to realign your spine and pelvis.  However, the benefit from the realignment is that realignment allows for a baby to turn to a head down position.  It may take as many as 8 Chiropractic visits before the baby turns to a head down position.

This video shows the Webster Technique being performed. Please do not attempt this at home.

The more common technique for turning a breech baby late in pregnancy is an External Cephalic Version.  Read about it here.

Hi! Natural Birth and Motherhood is about empowering women who are going through the stages of pregnancy, birth, or motherhood.  Find out more useful information on related topics by clicking on the Blog button below.

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