The Webster Technique is a safe and effective chiropractic technique that can be performed on all adults for proper pelvic alignment. This technique especially helps women before and during pregnancy to reduce intrauterine constraint and to allow the baby to get into the best possible position for birth.
What is the Webster Technique?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: We get that question asked a lot. The best thing to do is, I always resort back to the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. They are the foremost expert on it. According to them, they define the Webster Technique as specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment that reduces interference to the nerve system and facilitates biomechanical balance in pelvic structures, muscles, and ligaments.
This technique has really been shown to reduce the effects of intrauterine constraint, allowing the baby to get into the best possible position for birth. Although a lot of people interpret it as a way to turn the baby, it’s really not. It’s just a way of lining up the pelvis and creating the best amount of space for the baby to pass through the pelvic canal during birth because the better that system is aligned, the easier it is for the baby to pass through there.
What’s interesting is it wasn’t even initially described as a technique to help the expecting mom. It was originally developed to be used on all people, anyone who was weight bearing, by Dr. Webster. What he noticed is, when he used these techniques on the expecting mom, that he saw amazing results with the baby lining up and the moms reporting less pain during birth, less need for interventions. Eventually Webster almost became synonymous with a technique used on expecting women, but it can be used on anyone.
Is the Webster Technique safe?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Absolutely. The technique is very safe. It’s performed on women in all stages of pregnancy including up to the date of delivery so there is really no safety issues. Some of the more traditional adjustments sometimes can be contraindicated in the expecting mom. But there is never a time that these Webster Techniques are not safe, as long as the mom is positioned properly and you have the right table to allow the mom and the baby to be supported when they’re lying face down.
At what point in pregnancy can the Webster Technique be performed?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: As I said before, since Dr. Webster really presented the technique as a means of assessing sacral subluxations in all weight-bearing people, it can be applied at any time. Typically, it’s a technique that you’re always going to employ when people come in with sacroiliac problems, or sacral issues, or any type of alignment in the pelvis. But it comes more into play when the mother is expecting because now there are different loads. They’re bearing weight differently. There is stress and strain on certain ligaments, particularly the round ligament and the utero-sacral ligaments which are big ligaments that tend to hold the uterus in place.
What people fail to remember is that the uterus is just a big giant muscle. It is designed not just as a sac to hold the baby but it is actually what is going to contract, and squeeze, and push the baby out. Proper nerve innervation for that is really important and that can be being fostered early in the pregnancy or even before they’re pregnant. Pretty much it’s something that can be done pretty much at any time.
Is it ever too late to have the Webster Technique performed?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: It’s never too late. There’s always a chance. I’ve worked on women only one visit before they gave birth and they’ve reported beneficial effects and positive outcomes. It’s never too late but it’s always best to start as early as possible in the pregnancy to ensure the best outcomes because some people have a fair amount of misalignment. It can take multiple visits to realign the pelvis and get it into a position that is safe and effective for both the mom and the baby.
Sometimes it can take a longer period of time. The more time we have, the less pressure, the less of a harried issue and less stress to the mom so it’s always better to get started early.
How successful is the Webster Technique in preparing moms and babies for birth?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: It’s very successful. In the late ’70s, Larry Webster, he was the founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, and he noted the connection between the subluxations in the sacral and pelvic bones and abnormal fetal positioning. He developed this technique, and it was named after him to restore the movement and the alignment in the sacrum. What he observed was that babies would regularly turn to the vertex position on their own after the adjustment.
During his career, he reported a success rate of over 90%. I’ve seen some additional studies done more recently. The lowest one I’ve ever seen was about 65% to 68%, but most of them are in the high 70s to mid-80s. It’s quite successful and everyone derives benefit from it.
Sometimes mothers come in expecting us to do this and the baby is going to turn right away. I just want to reiterate that it’s not a technique for turning babies. It’s really just to ensure the best alignment. When there is the best alignment and the least amount of tension on the uterus, the babies are usually going to do what is expected of them and do what they need to do to get into the proper birth position. Larry worked with well over 1,000 pregnant moms before he started quoting any of his statistics or reporting anything in the journals.
To speak with Dr. Gregg Rubinstein, visit www.ChiropractorMidtown.com or call 917-534-6484 to schedule an appointment