Breech Babies

I do not know what is in the water here at the office! The pregnant women are coming out of the woodwork!

Are you aware that chiropractic is tremendously helpful for pregnant women? In one study 75% of women treated claimed they had less pain with chiropractic care. The average number of visits for substantial relief? 1.8! That’s pretty cool.

While it may seem like common sense that chiropractic would help, it was not until I went to school that I learned how effective chiropractic was with helping breech babies get into the head down position. What does breech mean? A typical baby will present with their head down by the moms pelvis. A breech baby has their head up by the moms chest.

As the pregnancy gets closer to term, around 40 weeks, most babies will turn into the head down position, somewhere around 97%. If, however, you are around week 36 or higher and the baby is still breech, it is unlikely turning will occur without some help.

Webster Technique

I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Larry Webster on many occasions while studying at Life University in Marietta GA. We were at a conference and I asked him how he discovered his adjustments were allowing babies to turn. What he told me was fascinating.

Dr. Webster noticed in the late 70’s that his adjustments were helping women have easier pregnancies. While refining his technique, he noted that most of the women that were breech when they started his care, had their babies turn into the head down position after a few visits. After many years of refinement, Dr. Webster started teaching his technique to chiropractors all over the world.

English: The sacroiliac joint

His main theory, and it has stood the test of time, was that that the cause of a persistent malpositioned fetus beyond 32 weeks could be due to misalignment of the bones in the moms pelvis. A subluxation of the sacrum or sacroiliac joints has the potential to create asymmetry of the pelvic opening and increased tension on the ligaments that support the uterus. By correcting the misaligned sacrum and releasing trigger points in a stomach muscle, the bony structure of the pelvis and related soft tissue is in a state where there is less constriction on the pelvic cavity. This affords the fetus the opportunity to move into a more ideal position for the upcoming delivery. Got all that!

Is It Effective?

Yes, both in my office and through literature that I have read. The latest survey that I saw stated of the 112 cases presented throughout the country, 102 of the babies had turned. 10 were still unresolved at press time.

Is It Safe?

As chiropractors, we are not actually turning the baby. What we are doing is removing the imbalances in the sacrum and abdominal muscles and reducing the constriction in the uterus. When this restriction is relieved, the baby has more room to turn. So yes, it is very safe.

In conclusion, if you know someone that is expecting, encourage them to visit their chiropractor, especially if their baby is in the breech position. They will definitely thank you for it!

Any questions on Webster technique or chiropractic in general, feel free to leave a comment or email us. We will be happy to get back to you.

(Picture courtesy of Wikipedia)

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Maternity Leave

Mad Skillz, y0.
Image by Jenny Leigh via Flickr

If you live in Massachusetts you may have noticed the recent ruling from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that no longer guarantees a woman’s job after 8 weeks of maternity leave.

In the past most companies would allow up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, using the  federal Family and Medical Leave Act as a guideline.  This federal guideline would also allow for absences to care for sick relatives, however, it only applied to companies with more than 50 employees.  Basically your small business was on its own under the federal law.

As you can probably imagine, this ruling has sparked some real debate over what companies should do.

How do you feel about this?  Should a company allow for 12 weeks when the law is now only for 8?

I think it is a very tricky situation.  On one hand you want happy employees and let’s face it, allowing a mom or dad to stay home with their baby for a little bit longer time makes for a happier parent/employee.  As a parent, there is no way I want my child going to daycare after 8 weeks.

Yet on the other hand as a small business owner myself, I can see where having employees out for long periods of time can be devastating.

Many other countries offer huge maternity leave times with many of them paying full salary for up to 7 months in certain cases.

According to a study from the  Center for Economic and Policy Research, there are only 2 countries out of the top 21 high income countries that offer no paid parental leave.  Yep, we are one of them.

If I had to offer paid leave, as well as pay someone else to temporarily do their job, I would not be able to hire anyone.

This is for sure a sticky situation, please share your feelings below by commenting.

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Miscarriage News

Photograph of abdomen of a pregnant woman
Image via Wikipedia

As a father of four great kids, my wife and I have also had some experience with miscarriages.  After each miscarriage the doctors would tell us to wait six months before thinking about getting pregnant again.  A new study just released is shedding some light on when you should try to have another baby after a miscarriage.

Doctors in Scotland followed tracked close to 31,000 women who had a miscarriage in their first pregnancy and then became pregnant between 1981 and 2000.

The women who got pregnant within six months had a healthy baby 85% of the time. Consequently, women who waited more than two years to get pregnant again had a health baby 73% of the time.

For many years the World Health Organization has been recommending waiting six months after a miscarriage before getting pregnant again.  This belief was based on a study in Latin America where the women tend to get pregnant at a much earlier age.

As most people are aware, the older a woman gets the greater a chance there could be a miscarriage.  The general miscarriage rate is around 20% with that number going up to 30% for women over 40.

Shameless chiropractic plug here.  I have taken care of hundreds of pregnant and trying to get pregnant women and

Woman pregnancy month by month.
Image via Wikipedia

have learned this.  Please take care of your spine when trying to get pregnant and once you get pregnant.  A woman’s low and mid-back contain vital nerves for the ovaries, placenta and ultimately the baby.  Stress and strain on these nerves can lead to difficulty getting pregnant.  Once the woman is pregnant, these nerves are responsible for helping to nourish the baby.

Lastly, pregnancy nutrition is so very important.  Please remember to take your pre-natal vitamins and try to eat as healthy a diet as possible.

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