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Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy: Webster Technique

What is the Webster Technique?

The Webster Technique was developed by a chiropractor named Dr. Larry Webster in the 1980s. He developed this technique after watching his daughter go through a very difficult birth process (he adjusted her throughout the birth process to provide her with relief). He wanted expecting mothers to experience relief so they didn't have to go through the same process his daughter did. He continued fine-tuning this technique and eventually worked with a mother who had a breech baby. He adjusted her 1x/week for several weeks and eventually the baby turned to the preferred vertex down ("head down") position in time for delivery. He applied this technique in his office and noticed that if the mother was presenting breech, 95% of the time, the baby would flip to the vertex down position.

Now, the Webster Technique is taught to chiropractors around the world so they can allow mothers to experience relief during their pregnancies and deliveries. It's important to note that as a chiropractor, I do not flip the baby myself -- this is out of my scope of practice and would be considered the practice of obstetrics.

Chiropractors do not and should not claim that we can flip the baby! We merely remove stress and imbalance from the mother's pelvis and nervous system and allow nature to run its course!

"The Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment that reduces the nervous system stress, balances pelvic bones, muscles and ligaments and optimizes the mother's pelvic function in pregnancy and birth."

What's In It For Mom?

Pregnancy is a very uncomfortable journey for most mothers, in fact, studies show that 25-90% of women will experience low back pain at some point during their pregnancies. Most of these studies estimate that at least 50% of mothers will experience low back pain and out of these women, 1 out of 3 of them will experience pain so severe that it impacts their quality of life! (3) Other studies show that roughly 10-30% of pregnant women will experience round ligament discomfort during their pregnancies. (4, 5) These are two of the most common complaints I receive in my office from expecting mothers.

Now, while reducing pain is the top priority for a large percentage of the pregnant population (and me as well), it's not the only benefit that expecting mothers can see! The mother's that I have taken care of have noted:

  • Better sleep

  • Better digestion

  • Happier thoughts

  • More confidence in their pregnancies (this transitioned into delivery as well)

  • Less GERD/acid reflux

  • Improved range of motion in the low back and lower extremity

  • Improved range of motion in the neck

  • More overall comfort

  • Less time spent pushing during labor (second stage of labor)

  • Decreased intensity of contractions (first stage of labor)

I feel like I say this 1,000 times a day, but we aren't only able to see improvements in pain intensity/frequency, but we are able to see improvements in the function of the body!

Is the Adjustment Dangerous?

A very common question that is asked throughout the profession by pregnant women is "is this safe for me and my baby?" The short answer is yes. The adjustment is very gentle and precise and we combine the adjustment with muscle and ligament releases to ensure your pelvis is balanced. There isn't a lot of force used during the adjusting process and some chiropractors utilized instrument-assisted techniques or drop tables.

The adjusting techniques that most chiropractors utilize are very specific and gentle, allowing you to remain relaxed throughout your care! We don't use excessive force during any adjustment and the adjustments themselves are not likely to negatively impact your little one.

If there was ever a red flag with your case, any good chiropractor should refer you to the necessary provider who can co-manage your care! Your health is our number one priority and we always have to make sure we are doing what's best for it.

How Do I Find a Prenatal/Perinatal Chiropractor?

Any chiropractor that you go to for prenatal/perinatal care needs to be certified in the Webster Technique for Pregnant Women so you know you are getting the highest-quality care possible. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) has a directory on their website for chiropractors who are Webster Certified -- .

Word of mouth also helps a lot. Chiropractors that have helped pregnant women see great results will be referred by friends and family members, so be sure to ask around for a good option in your area!

As with finding any other service, do some research in your area. Find an office that resonates with you and has your best interests in mind. Read Google/Facebook reviews to see what other people think of their care. Be educated when you make a decision about your health because that will help you feel more comfortable in the office and that can impact the results you see as well!


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