When a baby fails to move into the delivery position a few weeks prior to birth, it is called a breech presentation.
When this happens the baby’s buttocks and/or feet are positioned to be delivered first and careful attention must be paid to reposition the baby.
Statistics have shown that breech births occur in approximately 1 out of 25 full-term births and although it is not fully understood why breech happens, data has shown that a breech birth is more common in subsequent pregnancies, in pregnancies of multiples and/or when there is a history of premature delivery.
There are three different types of breech presentations:
- Frank breech: In this position, the baby’s buttocks are aimed at the birth canal with its legs sticking straight up in front of his or her body and the feet near the head.
- Complete breech: In this position, the baby’s buttocks are pointing downward with the legs folded at the knees and feet near the buttocks.
- Footling breech: In this position, one or both of the baby’s feet point downward and will deliver before the rest of the body.
If your baby is in breech, one technique chiropractors use is the called the Webster Technique, which was developed by Larry Webster, D.C. of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.
The Webster technique, as defined by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), is a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment that reduces interference to the nerve system and balances maternal pelvic muscles and ligaments. This in turn reduces torsion in the uterus, a cause of intra-uterine constraint of the baby and allows for optimal fetal positioning in preparation for birth.
The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics has reported an 82% success rate of babies turning head-down when chiropractors utilize the Webster Technique. Regularly scheduled pregnancy chiropractic care can help minimize breech taking place and posterior presentations may be avoided altogether.
Another benefit of chiropractic care while pregnant is that optimal baby positioning at the time of birth also eliminates the potential for dystocia (difficult labor) and therefore results in easier and safer deliveries for both the mother and baby.