One of the most spiritual moments in practice was in April of 2007. I had a mom who was on her third pregnancy – and she had a transverse breech baby. At 38 weeks, she was so nervous because her other two came early and she didn’t want a c-section. On the second visit I saw her, I could feel the baby playing with me with her feet on the left side of mom’s abdomen. I myself was 7 months pregnant – so we joked that our girls were playing together. I adjusted her lower back gently and turned her over. As we chatted – I applied a gentle pressure on a trigger point in her round ligament near her lower abdomen. Her baby began to kick on the right side. I talked softly to the baby – and all of a sudden, I felt the baby’s head which was on the right side poking out to the right side of mom come down and pass under my thumb like a Skee Ball just rolling down and RELIEF. We both knew that her baby had moved right into position to be delivered. It was incredible. 3 days later, she delivered a healthy happy little girl.
Many of you in my office heard me say that around 4 times per year – 85% of my entire practice is pregnant. They come in crops. (I love, love, love seeing moms. Especially first time ones. They have NO idea what they are in for….the good (and sometimes the sleeplessness, etc) but overall – the amazing experience of having a baby.
If someone were to ask me what my favorite type of patient I see, it is a breech presentation mom. They come to me by their trusted OB, midwife, or by doing a desperate search on the internet. I can’t even imagine – a pregnancy that has been humming along so perfect and then **BAM** you find out the baby is breech. Everything stops. The priority is now turning the baby. Before that – a woman is already dealing with the impending obvious that the end is near – and “How am I gonna give birth?” (to which I always recommend gently for them to go to the mall and sit down – and watch the hundreds of people walking by – each coming out somehow and ok!)
So breech. There are a few types of breech. Footling breech (meaning the feet are presenting first), frank breech (where the bum is presenting first) and my favorite (although not a favorite for a pregnant mom), the transverse lie. Carrying a baby should look like a watermelon standing on end. A transverse just looks painful, in that it looks like the “watermelon” went sideways – stretching, stretching, stretching.
Why does breech happen? No one knows for sure. I see about 100 cases a year. Babies naturally should start to get into a head down position around 32 weeks. Definitely by 36 weeks. Some moms can feel that the baby changed position – or in some cases can feel the kicking down below. Ouch.
To a chiropractor – breech happens most times because of improper alignment/biomechanics or the structure of the mother. Think of this. If your pelvis is two moving pieces held together by ligaments (like plastic fruit bags that stretch and don’t come back to their normal shape, called plastic deformity) and one side of your pelvis is malpositioned – it pulls or puts an unequal stress on another part.
So let’s say someone’s sacrum (part of that complex) is sticking too far back on the right. It is in the wrong position and could have been for years without symptoms – the compensatory way your body deals with that being all the way back there is to tighten the other side as a counterbalance.
It is more complicated and medical-esed that that – but I digress.
The ligament that takes the brunt of that backward pull on the front – is the round ligament – which in a pregnant stomach is around the bottom underside of the belly. If you were like me – a few times I thought I was being stabbed with my first there – because of the rapid expansion. Anyway – that ligament gets too tight and causes what we pregnancy chiropractors call, “Interuterine constraint.” I call it not enough room on the one side for your baby to “spin.”
How does a chiropractor assess if someone for Webster protocol? In my office – I put them on comfy pillows on their belly. I find out which side is “stuck” in the sacrum. I adjust that side and nothing else. That helps take the “slack” out of the tension in the front. I turn them over (telling her to tell me if she gets dizzy because we are only going to be on the back for 2 minutes – when you lay on your back in a hospital bed for hours on your back it’s safe) and in a specific spot – find a trigger point that the mom and I can both feel – and I hold light pressure until that knot lets go a bit. It is unbelievably gentle compared to a medical inversion.
Also helpful is acupuncture with moxibuxtion, I’ve seen.
So the next time you hear of someone who has a breech baby, tell them not to fret. Chiropractors have great results with Breech babies, the national average is around 85%. My average over almost 10 years is around 92% which is awesome. It’s gentle and safe.
How do you find a chiropractor who does this and is certified? www.icpa4kids.com is a great resource for finding doctors with that certification.
Until next time, if anyone has any questions about health or chiropractic, please feel free to get a no pressure answer email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.