The Webster Technique for a Healthy Pregnancy
For many women, pregnancy can be a very uncomfortable experience. Early on, it may begin with morning sickness, mood swings, and food cravings. This can guide a newly pregnant mom on an emotional roller coaster. Then the physical changes begin to kick in. As the baby begins the journey of gestation, the baby gradually develops and grows in the mother’s womb. As the baby grows, it is inevitable that the mother’s belly grows and these changes alter spinal and pelvic alignment.
Chiropractors use many techniques to assist with misalignments or “subluxations” in the spinal column, disc, bones, and joints. These can range from manual adjustments to soft tissue techniques that help realign areas of concern. Adjustments are light force manual techniques that a Chiropractor can perform by hand or using small instruments depending on each individual’s needs. The adjustments work to correct and relieve imbalances in the body to restore proper and optimal function. There are numerous Chiropractic techniques that can be utilized to effectively help a person with spinal alignment issues. Chiropractic care can safely benefit all ages and has particularly gained more popularity in recent years for expectant mothers.
Pregnant mothers and their growing babies inside go through an intricate and unique developmental process that may pose physical challenges in their nine-month journey. A pregnant mother has to adapt to hormonal changes, weight gain, and postural changes throughout her pregnancy. Often, the pregnant mother is unable to adapt to these increased changes as quickly as she is used to, and may develop pain and discomfort in the lower back and pelvic region. Obstetric research shows that proper pelvic positioning, allows for a more comfortable and safer birth outcome for women. Pelvic balance is extremely important for a pregnant mom because the pelvis surrounds and protects the uterus and growing baby. The pelvis and its surrounding tissue and muscles often get tight, strained, and thrown out of balance because of the physical changes mother and baby experience throughout pregnancy.
The Webster technique was developed by Dr. Larry Webster and is a safe and effective adjustment therapy to restore pelvic balance and function as well as relieve stress and tension in the muscles and joints. This technique examines the pelvis and sacrum and can determine alignments issues and imbalances in these areas. The Webster technique analyzes the sacral iliac joint and can be assessed on all weight bearing individuals. It involves a specific assessment process that includes having the mother bend her knee to try to touch the heel of her foot to her buttocks. The side where the knee is unable to bend as much or is ‘restricted’ in movement is the restricted side and therefore treated to restore balance.
Dr. Webster discovered that this technique was found to be particularly effective on pregnant women. Not only did it help pregnant mothers restore normal physiological function, it significantly improved their comfort throughout pregnancy and facilitated an easier birth. The optimal position for a baby during the birthing process is head down and facing towards the mothers’ back which is called ‘vertex’. The fetus can often experience what is called intrauterine constraint throughout a mothers’ pregnancy. Intrauterine constraint is defined as any external force or pressure put on the growing fetus that obstructs the normal movement of the fetus. This can often occur in pregnant mothers because chemical and physical changes occur at such a faster rate during pregnancy and the mother is unable to adapt or keep up with the demands her body experiences. This means that intrauterine constraint can prevent a baby from achieving the optimal head down vertex positioning needed for a vaginal birth, therefore necessitating a cesarean delivery.
Dr. Webster also discovered that those pregnant women who presented with a breech baby or a baby that was in malposition benefited significantly with this technique. The Webster Technique appeared to normalize the mother’s pelvic alignment as well as facilitate optimal fetus positioning with just a few treatments. This is particularly beneficial to mothers as Obstetric research states that correct positioning of the baby in-utero affects birth outcome and decreases the potential for undue stress to the baby’s developing spine and nerve system. Obstetric literature has also determined the importance of the pelvic alignment for the prevention of dystocia (difficult birth).
It is important to recognize that the Webster Technique is a safe and effective Chiropractic treatment that assesses the pelvis, sacrum and abdominal muscles to optimize balance in the body and prevent pain and discomfort throughout pregnancy. This, in turn, will improve a mother’s chance for a more comfortable labor and decrease the use of interventions during delivery.
A Chiropractor must become Certified in Webster Technique to perform it on pregnant mothers. To learn more about Webster Technique, you can visit: www.IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com.
Dr. Joyce Chung-Quiros is a Chiropractic Physician & Acupuncturist at Integrative Wellness & Physical Therapy in Bloomfield CT. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sports Science from the University of Connecticut, a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine from New York Chiropractic College, and a Contemporary Medical Acupuncture certification from McMaster University. She is an active member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and is a certified practitioner in the Webster Technique. Dr. Chung-Quiros supports the use of both alternative medicine and traditional western medicine to harmoniously reach one’s optimal health and wellness. For more information about Dr. Joyce and The Webster Technique, visit: www.IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com.