A More Comfortable Womb
[originally published in KCN, April 2012]
Recently I took my very pregnant wife to see a chiropractor.
This statement seems simple enough and should make a world of sense, unless, the person making this statement is a chiropractor, himself. That would be me.
I was in search of a chiropractor specializing in a method I knew very little about: Webster Technique. It’s interesting because many who think they have a familiarity with this style of chiropractic know it is a technique used to encourage babies in the later stages of pregnancy to turn from breech position. The reality is the technique isn’t about that at all.
Obstetricians will sometimes attempt to turn babies into the correct position by physically manipulating them outside of the belly. This procedure, known as external cephalic version, is reported to work about two-thirds of the time. It can be quite painful for some and usually requires medication to relax the uterus. In addition, it requires the assistance of ultrasound and constant fetal monitoring, and an operating suite needs to be at the ready to handle complications. What’s more, even after performing the procedure successfully, about one in ten babies will turn back to how they were.
The Webster Technique, however, is a chiropractic technique that brings balance to the pelvis. Imbalance of the pelvis can bring about tightening and torsion of specific muscles and ligaments which can literally pull and tug on the uterus in such way that the baby opts not to assume what we know as the best possible position for birth.
The overarching question here is:
“Does the baby know something we don’t?”
The foundation of chiropractic is that the body is designed with an intrinsic ability to function properly, to self-heal, and to self-regulate, and that it can do this job marvelously as long as there is no interference. There’s no disputing that babies are designed to be born head down. It’s the most optimum position when examining the anatomy and physiology of both the mother and the baby. So if a baby is not assuming this position, there must be a reason why — such as getting entangled by the cord. In other words, if assuming a head down position is not in the baby’s best interest, the intelligence of the body will resort to “Plan B.”
Chiropractic, when practiced in its truest sense — regardless of whether a person is pregnant or not — is looking to remove interferences that are impeding the body to carry out its designed function.
So in the case of the Webster Technique, rather than utilizing a medical procedure which aims to correct what is likely a symptom (ie. baby assuming a breech position), the focus is about bringing balance to the pelvis and related muscles and ligaments — fostering a more ideal uterine environment so Baby has the opportunity to safely position itself as designed.
In other words, when it comes to chiropractic, we remove interference and then get out of the way and allow the body to do its thing.
By the way, ten minutes after my wife was adjusted with the Webster Technique, our baby must have liked the changes that were made, because it wiggled around and got comfortable in a head down position.
Dr. Thomas R. Lamar is a chiropractor at Anchor Chiropractic in Kingston’s Health Services Center and is the host of SpinalColumnRadio.com. He and his wife are eagerly awaiting the birth of their seventh child. He can be reached at (360) 297-8111 or on the web at AnchorChiropractic.net.