Everyone knows that pregnancy is a major assault on a woman’s body. You’re growing another human inside your body, which needs nutrients and chemical compounds your body is already using. This also means that your body is going to carry what equates to something nearly the weight of a bowling ball hanging from your abdomen, which changes the stress on your spine.

It’s this extra spinal strain that causes so many complications during pregnancy. It could be the common lower back or leg pain, but could also be hormonal imbalance and issues with how the baby is presenting for birth.

It’s possible to support your body throughout your pregnancy, making the entire process a little easier. Discover how chiropractic care helps with this, and why the Webster Technique is the best approach for pregnant women.

The Importance of Structural Integrity During Pregnancy

Let’s start by exploring why paying attention to your body’s structural alignment is critical for pregnant women. To understand the importance it’s critical to first explore how communication works within the body.

Your nervous system is much like an old telegram, with the nerves acting as the wires between the message’s origin and destination. Telegrams were notoriously unreliable, especially over long distances, due to factors that could damage them or cause interference. Your nervous system is very similar, including in the variety of things that can interrupt message delivery.

Your brain has to send and receive messages to and from all the various parts of the body. It does this through the nerves that first run down the spine, and then out to each of their destinations. Interrupted signaling pathways through the nerves affect many of the body’s normal systems.

For pregnant women, this can interfere with many of the aspects of pregnancy. Of major concern is the body’s ability to naturally adjust to prepare for birth. However, these interrupted pathways can also interfere with the body’s proper pain signaling and its proper production and utilization of hormones. Unusual structural shifts can also cause problems with the brain receiving adequate blood flow and oxygen, which can cause some of the symptoms of pregnancy brain that are so commonly reported.

Why Pregnancy Makes Chiropractic Treatment Challenging

You can see how keeping your body’s communication pathways open and operating properly is important. Every chiropractor receives training on providing treatment for pregnant women because of how the body changes as pregnancy progress.

Chiropractic treatment is a safe and effective therapy for pregnant women, let’s get that out of the way. The adjustments provided by your provider should not pose any risk to your pregnancy as long as you’re comfortable with your provider. If you aren’t comfortable, it can make it difficult to receive proper adjustments, but also increase the risk of uncommon side effects.

That said, most common chiropractic techniques are not comfortable for most pregnant women after their baby becomes a noticeable size. This requires a different approach than the common positioning of laying on your back or stomach for the adjustment.

Given what you’re about to go through in the birthing experience, it stands to reason that your needs are different than the vast majority of people seeking chiropractic treatment. Yes, you may want to subdue the back pain you’re experiencing. However, you also want to make sure your body is ready to stretch and move in ways that only happen during birth. This is why chiropractors who want to give the best treatment for their pregnant clients get training in the Webster Technique.

What Is the Webster Technique?

The Webster Technique, which is also known as Webster’s Protocol, focuses on the sacrum and sacroiliac joint, also known as the SI joint. The sacrum is at the bottom of the spine, below the lumbar area, and just above the tailbone. The SI joint connects the iliac bones to the sacrum. This is the area that has to expand to allow your baby to pass from your uterus and out through the birth canal.

Unlike what you might hear, the Webster Technique doesn’t cure a breech baby. That technique is the external cephalic version, and can be painful for the mom, and poses rare but severe risks.

Rather, the Webster Technique deals with the underlying problems that typically cause malpresentation. This often occurs because the mom’s pelvic structure hasn’t opened enough to allow the baby to turn its head down. The technique is much more gentle than the common adjustments, being the goal isn’t the typical joint adjustment. The Webster Technique focuses on aligning the sacrum and SI joints and loosening the muscles. Oftentimes, a chiropractor achieves this through the use of simple fingertip pressure and stretching techniques.

Why Use the Webster Technique During Pregnancy?

As you can see, the Webster Technique is perfectly suited to help ease your pregnancy journey. Here are some of the benefits many patients report following treatment with the Webster Technique.

Helps With Proper Birthing Presentation

As you know, the proper birthing position is head down. A breech presentation is when the baby is laying across the cervical opening or is in a head-up position. The challenge with this kind of presentation is that it can prevent the baby from entering the birth canal or one of the extremities may come out first. Either of these can lead to an emergency cesarean operation.

The Webster Technique gently works on the SI joint and sacrum to solve pelvic subluxations that are preventing the baby from turning into the proper position. It also works on the soft tissues, including the pelvic muscles and ligaments, helping them loosen to allow the bones to shift and align properly.

Less Back Pain

Pregnancy back pain is often the result of the unusual strain your growing baby is putting on the lower parts of your spine. The cause of many kinds of back pain is the compression of nerves running into other areas of your body. For many women, this is often similar to sciatic back pain, with either pain, numbness, or tingling radiating into the thigh and down the leg. The subluxations of the sacrum and SI joint can compress the nerves running to this area, causing the sensation. By working to properly align the joints in this area, you relieve the compression, thereby relieving the pain.

Improved Mobility

Misaligned pelvic joints can make it difficult for you to move, contributing to the difficulty in moving around during the later stages of pregnancy. The Webster technique gently moves these joints back into alignment and then helps the associated ligaments and muscles conform to the new position. This dual focus on joint and soft tissue provides relief from the stiffness and restricted mobility common during pregnancy.

Reduced Stress

There are so many stressors during pregnancy, including both physical and emotional stress. The physical stress comes from the growing baby inside you that’s literally pulling and pushing on your body’s internal organs. Your emotional stress is a combination of fear of the unknown, heightened hormones in the body, and the physical discomfort you’re feeling.

Chiropractic care, including the gentle Webster Technique, can help relax tense muscles. This simple act alone can reduce the stress response throughout the body. Further, pain causes stress in the body, so relieving it also reduces your stress.

Better Birthing Experience

There is so much that both your body and your baby’s body go through during the birthing process that it can be difficult to effectively prepare. However, giving your body some thoughtful care in advance will help you both have a better experience.

In fact, studies of labor statistics have demonstrated that seeking chiropractic care throughout your pregnancy may reduce how long you’re in labor by 25%-31%. Because the Webster Technique helps improve nerve signals throughout the body, your uterus can push with the proper strength to move your baby through the birth canal, reducing the need for external birthing interventions.

When To See a Chiropractor During Pregnancy

It’s never too early or too late to seek chiropractic care during your pregnancy. The sooner you start working on ensuring proper alignment of your pelvic floor, the better the outcomes you can expect. Keep in mind that chiropractic care, including the Webster Technique, is not a one-and-done treatment. Rather, as your body continues to change throughout pregnancy, you’ll need continued treatment to ensure everything remains in proper alignment. You may have fewer visits early in pregnancy with increasing visits as you near your due date.

Call to schedule your Conroe area consultation with the Webster-certified experts, at Freedom Chiropractic today.