Chiropractors Turn Babies and Other Myths
Chances are, you know someone who ended up having a c-section because their baby was breech (or transverse, or otherwise in an improper position for vaginal delivery). Perhaps you are that parent. Having a breech position upset your plans for the delivery that you wanted can be traumatic. Many parents try everything to get their baby to turn. Music, ice, laying upside down on the stairs, or even the often uncomfortable and sometimes risky External Cephalic Version (ECV). Sometimes the baby turns and the parent is able to go on to have the delivery they planned. Other times they aren’t so lucky and a c-section is scheduled. With all the anticipation and frustration of waiting for baby to maneuver into the ideal head-down position for delivery, it is understandable that one would want to try just about anything they can to help this process along. One tool that has become very popular among expectant parents is seeing their chiropractor for a technique called Webster Protocol. Countless parents have raved to their friends and midwives that they were on the brink of having to schedule the c-section and after they saw their chiropractor, their next ultrasound confirmed the baby was head-down and ready to go. While this is certainly wonderful news for all involved, lack of accurate information has given rise to a misnomer that chiropractors are actually turning the baby, which in turn creates the question: if I get adjusted once my baby is head down, will that cause my baby to flip breech again?
To address these misconceptions, we need to address what the adjustment is actually doing. The short version: it is NOT flipping or turning your baby.
The slightly longer, more technical version: when your chiropractor utilizes Webster Protocol as part of your Structural Chiropractic care, they are optimizing the structure of your pelvis. The uterus is very solidly connected to the bones of the pelvis by strong ligaments. When pelvic structures shift out of their proper alignment (an occurrence that is very common in pregnancy thanks in part to our friend Relaxin), this places stress on the uterus and may limit the room the baby has to grow and move properly. When the structure of your pelvis is returned to normal, this releases the stress on the uterus, which in turn may allow your baby to grow and move normally. Moving normally typically includes moving into the head-down position in preparation for delivery. During these adjustments, the chiropractor is actually not manipulating your baby directly as is the case in an ECV.
Understanding this helps us to understand that, since the chiropractor isn’t physically turning your baby, – just restoring normal structure to your pelvis so the baby is free to move how they need to – you don’t need to worry that continuing to see your chiropractor once your baby turns head down would cause your baby to “flip” back. In fact, this particular protocol is even used on people who aren’t pregnant to help normalize their pelvic structure!
The other advantage to the fact that your chiropractor isn’t manipulating your baby is that the correction is typically very comfortable for the expectant parent. You’ll probably feel much more comfortable after your doctor performs Webster Protocol on you as part of your Structural Chiropractic care. Many parents report a decrease or even complete elimination of round ligament pain, sciatic pain, hip pain, and pubic symphysis pain. These are all just the perks of having your pelvic structure returned to normal. Learn more by booking a complimentary consultation with us today!