Birth Trauma, the Webster Technique and Midwives
By JEANNE OHM
After a recent Ped Ex went out (the one on the Webster Technique), I received an e-mail from Anne Sommers a midwife in southern California. Her comments were supportive and enthusiastic about her experiences with Doctors of Chiropractic in her 11 years as a midwife and doula. She always has and continues to recommend chiropractic care as part of her clients prenatal care.
About the Technique, she had this to say: “I have never known the Webster Technique not to work in supporting a breech baby to turn except for one case where there was placenta previa. I have, however, known of the external version not to work!
I have been recommending the Webster Technique for close to 11 years. During that time I have encountered many breeches and have only experienced three other breech presentations. One woman did not choose to do the Webster Technique and had her baby by c-section. Another was a last minute client whose doctor said her baby was vertex (not) and refused to do an ultrasound to confirm it. She delivered breech in a hospital. Another client of mine had a baby that was vertex until the last week - her baby did a surprise turn.”
In following up with a phone conversation, Anne and I were able to touch base about numerous aspects about birth and the causes of dystocia. I had the opportunity to share with her the chiropractic solutions for dystocia (as taught in the ICPA Certification Module on Pregnancy) and the more well known “Medical Interventions” such as hospital transport, induction, epidurals, etc.
Of course our conversation led to birth trauma and she mentioned a 10 minute video she had viewed at a Chiropractor’s office which had blown her away. (Birth Trauma: A Modern Epidemic) Having the experience of a home birthing midwife, the footage seemed foreign and inconceivable. “How could these OB/GYNs pull, twist and actually turn the heads around like a corkscrew with no consideration for hurting the infant?”
Several weeks later, Anne attended a birth that wound up as a hospital transfer. She watched the OB/Gyn grasp the baby’s head and use it as a lever to completely turn the baby’s shoulders one way and then the other. Although completely flabbergasted by the procedure, she assumed it must be a very rare and unusual procedure. Several weeks later, she witnessed another obstetric delivery where the same procedure was used!!
“What do you think they call this procedure,” she asked me, “the head screw maneuver?” Perhaps it is called the “We are clueless about the effects of force to the fragile infant’s spine and nervous system, technique, “ I answered.
Birth trauma is still very real in our society and its effects are life long. It is a cause of subluxation that is preventable and will need a tremendous amount of education and
Contact the midwives, doulas and other birth providers in your community and form these vital alliances. Right now, midwives throughout the country are under fire and needing our concerted efforts for referrals and often financial donations as they face the “Machine of Modern Medicine”. To find the lay midwives in your communities, it is sometimes easiest to find the doulas and then ask them for their connections personally.
There is still much we as Chiropractors can be doing in means of education and support. Doctors of Chiropractic are probably the strongest educators in any exposing health care. We have made tremendous impact in raising awareness about the vaccination issue, antibiotic abuse, nutrition, body movement, and birthing. Even if our educational efforts have made significant impacts on our personal practices—it’s not about our personal practices—it is about a global level of change. Thanks for all you do—it is making a tremendous difference!!
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Copyright 2017 Anne Sommers