The ideal position for a baby to be born is head first. In approximately 1 out of 25 births the baby is presenting feet or buttocks first. This is a more challenging way to be born and it’s more likely that the obstetrician will opt for a C-section if the baby is presenting this way at the time of birth.
Usually, by 37 weeks the baby is head down and getting into position to be born. If not head down by then breech birth is highly likely without further measures to turn the baby around. There is a method of external version where hands are used to force the baby to turn around, but let’s consider why the baby is not head down to begin with. Most people have had some sort of low back or hip injury that causes the pelvis to be improperly aligned. When this is present in a pregnant woman it changes the shape of the pelvis creating less space for the baby to grow and to move around. Also, it causes the uterine ligaments to work harder to hold the uterus in place in an uneven pelvis. External version may be able to get the baby to turn, but often, when the baby is given enough room, she will turn on her own.
Dr. Larry Webster, a chiropractor, designed a technique to not only realign the pelvis, but also to use gentle contacts on the uterine ligaments to help them relax and allow the baby enough space to turn around. The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported and 82% success rate using the Webster Technique. As a doctor trained in the Webster Technique I use it on all my pregnant clients to maintain integrity of the pelvis and uterus from the beginning. I have never seen a baby present breech with mom being under care during her pregnancy. I have had moms come to me between their 37th and 41st weeks with breech presentation. Every time the baby has turned head down after 1-2 adjustments. By giving the baby adequate space to turn head down, she will do what she needs to do to be born.
Chiropractic care is very gentle and promotes whole body wellness so mom and baby can do what they need to do naturally. It is never too late during pregnancy to begin chiropractic care and give mom and baby the best chance at a natural birth.