Nowadays, it is estimated that one in 25 pregnancies presents as a breech, where the baby’s buttocks, feet, or leg are positioned instead of the ideal vertex presentation with the head.
Furthermore, 13% of cesarean sections are performed for breech cases. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers a 15% cesarean section rate as acceptable for the general population. In Quebec and North America, the current rate stands at approximately 22%. Chiropractic care offers a natural and non-invasive solution that could help reverse a significant number of breech cases and contribute to reducing the rate of cesarean sections performed for these cases.
What are intrauterine constraints? These are external forces acting on the fetus that hinder normal movements, potentially preventing the baby from assuming a head-down position after the 32nd week of pregnancy and having a vaginal birth. Any imbalances in the mother’s pelvis and sacrum create abnormal tension and muscular and ligamentary imbalances, leading to these intrauterine constraints. Since the spinal column plays a protective role for the spinal cord and nerves, any disruption affects the proper transmission of neurological information to the pelvic structures and uterus.
The Webster technique and the Bagnell technique are specific chiropractic analyses and adjustment techniques (spinal manipulation) that facilitate proper functioning of the pelvis, coccyx, lumbar and pelvic regions, muscles, and ligaments. These adjustments help reduce intrauterine constraints, allowing the baby to assume an optimal position for delivery. Pelvic, pubic symphysis, coccyx, and spinal adjustments are specifically adapted for pregnant women and entirely safe for the fetus. The treatment also includes muscle and ligament relaxation techniques.
These techniques, tailored for breech babies, should be performed by a chiropractor who has undergone post-graduate training in obstetrics and pediatrics. In the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT), an 81% success rate was reported among chiropractors practicing this technique. Early intervention, between the 30th and 36th week, is desirable as it increases the chances of success. After the 36th week, the chances decrease as the baby gains weight, and physical space for reversal becomes limited.
It is important to consult with your doctor or midwife to rule out any physiological reasons for a breech or transverse presentation. For example, in the presence of a bicornuate uterus, there is an increased risk of breech cases. If no specific reason explains the breech presentation, chiropractic care may be indicated. Since this natural and non-invasive technique considers the normal biomechanics of pregnant women, no side effects or complications have been reported to date. The chiropractor can also suggest a series of exercises to help the baby assume a vertex position afterward. The Webster technique is now taught in the chiropractic doctoral program at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. In addition to the university curriculum, there is a postdoctoral program in pediatrics and obstetrics, leading to a one-year certificate or a three-year diplomat.
Chiropractors advocate for natural, wellness-oriented solutions to optimize the overall health of each individual.