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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ADHD Drugs May Be Linked to Rare Deaths

Currently there are approximately 2.5 million children and 1.5 million adults taking stimulant medication.  The two most popular meds are Ritalin and Concerta, with ADHD being the most common condition that they treat.

For those of you who may not know ADHD is short for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which can best be characterized by a persistent pattern of impulsiveness and inattention.  It is diagnosed twice as much in boys as it is in girls and  a popular treatment method is to put the child on either Ritalin or Concerta.

After years of speculation and rare case reports, a study suggests that this stimulant medication may have played a role in a handful of cases of sudden, unexplained death in children and adolescents.

This is the first study to suggest that these stimulants may pose a risk to children, albeit a very remote one, without pre existing heart problems.

What these drugs do is cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate.  In the past this was thought to be no big deal to children, they may be starting to rethink that.

A study compared children who died unexpectedly vs. children who died in an auto accident.  What they found was 1.8% of the children from the unexpected death group were on a stimulant drug.  In the group of children who died from an auto accident, the number of children on that drug was 0.4%.

What the doctors are now recommending is two fold if your child is told they need to be put on a stimulant drug like Ritalin or Concerta:

  1. Please give your doctor a detailed family history; do not gloss over this.  A ton of useful information comes out of these conversations.  Please make sure you pay particular attention to heart attacks, strokes or any form of heart disease.
  2. Ask your doctor for an EKG for your child.  A recent study of 1100 children found that 2% of those children screened had an abnormality.

In 2008, the American Heart Association recommended that doctors consider routine electrocardiograms before starting children with ADHD on stimulants or other psychotropic medications.  These EKG’s may help to detect cardiac abnormalities that would increase a child’s vulnerability to sudden heart problems.

Shameless chiropractic plug.  If you are considering putting your child on one of these drugs, please give chiropractic a shot first.  I cannot tell you how many times I have seen children get helped by going to the chiropractor.  I have teachers at school now who proactively seek parents out and tell them to get their children adjusted.

If you currently have a chiropractor, ask them if they will check your child.  If you need help finding a chiropractor near you, shoot me an email and I will help you find someone.