Pregnancy and Chiropractic: The Webster Technique

Pregnancy and Chiropractic: The Webster Technique

Dr. Romana Schmidt, DC


I recently spent a weekend in Toronto taking a great course on perinatal care and the Webster technique. I was really looking forward to brushing up on my skills and learning about the latest research regarding chiropractic care during pregnancy. The course was taught by Dr. Jeanne Ohm, an amazing chiropractor that has put all her energy and life’s work into teaching and expanding this field. She is also the CEO of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) and an author of numerous published research articles on chiropractic care for children and in pregnancy. 

So what is this Webster technique??
 

“The Webster technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment used in pregnancy which reduces nerve system stress and improves pelvis neuro-biomechanical function. Its purpose is to detect and correct sacral subluxation and sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Sacral dysfunction can contribute to a difficult labour (dystocia) and thus correcting this and balancing the pelvis may allow for a safer, easier birth.” (ICPA: http://icpa4kids.org)

In simpler terms, it’s a technique that can be used on anyone, but has been shown to be especially helpful in pregnancy to help with aligning the pelvis and decreasing the stress and strain of the ligaments attached to the uterus. We check for stiffness of your pelvis to look for an imbalance in tightness and rotation of your sacrum, the triangular bone at the base of the spine that connects your two ilium bones together. By correcting the misalignment and releasing the tightness of the shortened ligaments, it allows the whole pelvis to balance out and ultimately allows the baby to position itself in the most optimal position.

Here I am assessing my colleague’s pelvic rotation by feeling the stiffness in the legs as you raise them towards the buttocks. The stiffer leg indicates the side that would need correction. The adjustment is very safe, gentle, and comfortable especially because you are lying face down with pregnancy pillows that contour your belly! It may even be the first time you get to lie on your belly in your 2nd or 3rd trimester!

Here I am assessing my colleague’s pelvic rotation by feeling the stiffness in the legs as you raise them towards the buttocks. The stiffer leg indicates the side that would need correction. The adjustment is very safe, gentle, and comfortable especially because you are lying face down with pregnancy pillows that contour your belly! It may even be the first time you get to lie on your belly in your 2nd or 3rd trimester!

There are many reasons why chiropractic care during pregnancy may be helpful for you and the growth of your baby. Whether you are feeling discomfort or just looking to have a healthy pregnancy with the hope of a natural birth, having an assessment by a Webster-certified Chiropractor can help alleviate your pain/dysfunctions thereby decreasing your chances of having a difficult labour. Research has shown that Chiropractic care can help relieve pain during pregnancy, significantly reduce back pain during labour and reduce the need for narcotic pain medications. 

“75% of women who received chiropractic adjustments during their pregnancy stated that they experienced relief of their pain and discomfort.”  


Some reasons for the need of Chiropractic Care in Pregnancy

  • Weight gain and postural changes during pregnancy will increase:
  • Stress on spinal and pelvic ligaments, e.g. round ligaments increasing pressure in the front of your belly 
  • Demand and fatigue on spinal and pelvic muscles, e.g. psoas muscle
  • Joint stress leading to sacroiliac joint misalignments, e.g. pain in lower back/hip region
  • Ultimately increasing a sedentary lifestyle due to the discomfort/weight gain 
  • High levels of RELAXIN -  a hormone that increases dramatically during pregnancy that makes your ligaments more lax and joints less stable (to allow the pelvis to expand as the baby grows)


Symptoms that may bring a pregnant woman into a Chiropractic Office

  • Low back pain
  • Sacroiliac pain - one or both sides 
  • Pain getting in and out of bed, putting weight through one leg
  • Pubic symphysis pain 
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Sciatic Neuralgia - pain around the pelvis with radiating pain down the leg
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Overdue


Helpful tips to do at home during pregnancy

  • Massaging the round ligaments daily 
  • Rocking your pelvis forward when sitting in a chair
  • Standing with hands on a chair - move your pelvis in a “figure 8” motion - keeps the SI joints mobile


**Visit your chiropractor to learn how to perform these home techniques properly**


Come in for an assessment to make your pregnancy the best it can be!

~ Dr. Romana

Dr. Romana is currently taking new patients at Restore. She has completed special training in infant musculoskeletal health and is a certified acupuncture provider. You can learn more about Dr. Romana on her website, drromana.ca