Purpose of Chiropractic Care in Pregnancy
With the intent of supporting natural childbirth in the mid 1980s, Larry Webster, D.C., developed a chiropractic adjustment now called the Webster technique. The first and most significant observation of this adjustment was for women who were presenting breech during pregnancy. After they received the Webster adjustment, their babies turned head down. As a result, they were more likely to experience a natural childbirth that was safer and easier.
Often people will ask, “How can a chiropractic adjustment affect baby positioning?” The answer is by improving pelvic balance. When the mother’s pelvis is out of alignment, the ligaments that connect from the pelvis to the uterus increase their tension (tone) resulting in a distortion to the uterine space. Don MacDonald, D.C. offers a great analogy: “Increased tone is like sleeping in a bed with someone sitting on the sheets beside you. Can you turn over freely? No.” For the baby, the surrounding walls of the uterus tighten with pelvic imbalance, becoming more and more like tight bedsheets that restrict her motion. The chiropractic adjustment to the pelvis releases tension to the ligaments and uterus so that the baby can move freely and assume the best possible position for birth. It is important to realize that many pregnant women are seeking ICPA doctors throughout their pregnancies to utilize the many additional benefits of the Webster technique. For every stage of pregnancy, this adjustment reduces interference to the nervous system—a vital benefit to improve physiology for both Mom and her baby. When Mom’s physiological function is at its best, the baby’s development is optimized. Balancing the pelvic bones, muscles and ligaments and improving normal physiology sets the stage for a natural birth.
Chiropractic care and the Webster technique allow for safer, easier births! Williams Obstetrics tells us there are three components for a smoother birth for both mother and baby.
POWER: The nervous system (Power) operates in all body processes, including childbirth. For birth to proceed as it was naturally designed to, the nervous system must facilitate the transmission of information through the body. By removing interferences and imbalances to the nervous system, chiropractic care helps lead to a normal, physiological birth.
PASSAGE: For the baby to descend through the birth canal (Passage), the balance of the mother’s pelvis is vitally important. With chiropractic care, the muscles and ligaments of the pelvis and uterus are free to move and function for the benefit to the mother and the baby. The result is greater ease and comfort in pregnancy and birth.
PASSENGER: The baby (Passenger) wants to get into the best possible position to descend through the birth canal. The movements inherent to the birthing baby will be positively facilitated when the mother’s nervous system is optimally functioning and her pelvis balanced. Birth is a cooperative endeavor, where the mom and the baby play vitally connected roles.
Appearing in Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine Issue 60—Winter 2018
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