Chiropractic and Breech Babies During Pregnancy

Woman and pregnancy

At some point during the course of her pregnancy, a woman may begin to experience low back pain and even sciatica, that is, radiating pain down the back of a leg. The likely explanation for most of these cases of obstetric-related low back pain is the increased mechanical load due to the weight of the developing fetus, amniotic fluid, and placenta. Many times, low back pain is transient and resolves on its own. However, pregnancy-associated low back pain may persist for more than a week and require conservative treatment to help reduce pain and achieve resolution.

Chiropractic care is the optimal conservative treatment for pregnancy-related low back pain, with or without sciatica. The musculoskeletal structures affected by the increased weight of pregnancy are the vertebral joints of the lumbar spine, the sacroiliac joints, the local ligaments, and spinal musculature. The sacroiliac joints, especially, contain numerous pain receptors and sacroiliac joint dysfunction often causes a substantial component of a pregnant woman's low back pain.

Chiropractic care identifies, analyzes, and corrects these sources of lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint dysfunction and nerve irritation. As a result, information exchange between the brain and the rest of the body is optimized. The ability of the lumbar vertebrae and the sacroiliac joints to bear weight and manage the increased mechanical stresses of pregnancy is facilitated. Stimulation to pain receptors is reduced and the supporting musculature is enabled to relax. Function improves and a sense of improving health and well-being is restored.

In the case of a breech presentation, the buttocks and/or feet of the fetus are positioned closest to the birth canal, rather than in the more typical vertex presentation, with the fetus's head being closest to the route of delivery. A breech presentation occurs during 3-4% of all full-term births. Factors that may be associated with a breech presentation include prior pregnancy, the presence of twins, and too little or too much amniotic fluid. A breech presentation may be identified by specific palpation of the abdomen and confirmed, if needed, by an ultrasound of pelvic examination.

Chiropractic care may be utilized in the overall healthcare management of a breech presentation. If the pregnant mother-to-be chooses a vaginal delivery, chiropractic care may be employed to provide integrative support. By detecting and correcting spinal misalignments and sources of nerve interference in the mother-to-be, chiropractic care helps to optimize all of her physiological processes, including supporting the health and well-being of her developing fetus. By helping to restore and maintain peak physiological function in the mother-to-be, chiropractic care helps provide an environment that supports the activities of other members of the healthcare team in attempts to turn the fetus so that the orientation is head down, and otherwise helps support an optimal outcome of a vaginal delivery.

1Berhan Y, Haileamlak A: The risks of planned vaginal breech delivery versus planned caesarean section for term breech birth: a meta-analysis including observational studies. Brit J Obstet Gynecol 123(1):49-57, 2016

2Fischbein SJ, Freeze R: Breech birth at home: outcomes of 60 breech and 109 cephalic planned home and birth center births. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 18(1):397, 2018 doi: 10.1186/s12884-018-2033-5

3Alcantara J, et al: The use of validated outcome measures in the chiropractic care of pregnant patients: A systematic review of the literature. Complement Ther Clin Pract 21(2):131-6, 2015


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Patient Testimonials

Still unsure if chiropractic treatment is right for you? See what other patients are saying about their experience with our practice.

  • "No More Tests
    "My first visit was a couple of years ago. My right knee and ankle had been swollen for over two years. My family doctor kept sending me for tests, but no one knew why my right leg was swollen. After approximately two months of treatment at White Street Chiropractic, the swelling had decreased substantially and remains that way today.""
    Anonymous
  • "A Stronger Back Through Chiropractic
    "I am a skeptic at heart, and I have to admit that I was hesitant to seek chiropractic help. But after almost three years of suffering daily and refusing to consider back surgery as an option, I came to White Street Chiropractic. The pain I had begun to experience in my wrists is gone and my daily dosage of medication has become unnecessary. Now I feel confident that my commitment to my health and support by chiropractic will make me more comfortable, stronger and healthier.""
    Anonymous
  • "Small Adjustments for Pain Relief
    "For a number of years, I had been bothered by back and arthritic hip pain. Then the pain became acute. Doctors offered only surgery or heavy pain killers. I was referred by an acquaintance to White Street Chiropractic. After a series of adjustments, I experienced immediate relief and have continued to improve.""
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