December 21, 2004 > Life's Journey - A Path to Wellness
Life's Journey - A Path to Wellness
In the next series of articles we will journey though stages/ages of life and discuss health choices (conventional and alternative) currently available.
It all begins at conception. We spend nine months in our mother's womb. Most of us are protected and safe but circumstances can occur that make this an unpleasant environment. Good nutrition, exercise, and avoidance of non-essential medication and chemicals are standard advice when pregnant.
As the baby grows, the uterus enlarges. When the mother's pelvis is balanced, ligaments and muscles that suspend the uterus can maintain a tranquil place for nurturing the baby. If these ligaments become twisted, the baby may be unable to move freely. This causes a condition called in utero constraint which may affect the position of the baby throughout pregnancy and hinder development of the child.
Conditions resulting from this misalignment can include Dystocia (difficult labor), Torticollis (twisting of babies neck), and suboccipital strains to the babies neck. If this condition continues throughout pregnancy, the baby may have difficulty getting into a head down position for birth. This is called a "breech delivery" (feet/foot or buttock as presenting part at birth). If the baby is unable to move into a head down position, the likelihood of a vaginal birth drops and cesarean section delivery more than likely becomes the choice of delivery.
The importance of preventing intrauterine constraint is to decrease breech presentation and cesarean section delivery. The United States has one of the highest cesarean section deliveries at 22%. 13% of all cesarean deliveries are performed because of a breech presentation. In the United States 86% of infants with breech presentation are delivered by c-section.
In 1985 the World Organization (WHO) proposed 15% as the highest acceptable limit for cesarean section rates. The United States failed to reach this goal set to be met by the year 2000 by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The 15% limit has been adopted as a "Healthy People 2010" goal by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Health Resources and Services Administration. Many reports are cited to bring this percentage down by decreasing cesarean section for breech presentation.1
The conventional or obstetrical method used for management of in utero constraint is External Cephalic Version (ECV). This is performed between weeks 37-38 if the baby has not turned into the head down vertex position. In this procedure, the obstetrician applies pressure to the mother's abdomen in an attempt to turn the baby. It is reported to have a 50% success rate.2 Although there are several supportive studies in medical literature, this procedure has not gained widespread acceptance. By week 34 of pregnancy the baby should be turning head down to prepare for birth. It is of concern if, in that final month of pregnancy, the baby has not turned. On average, only 9% will turn on their own after 34 weeks.
Chiropractic management of in-utero constraint comes with a high success rate of 97% reported by Dr. Larry Webster, the founder of "Webster In-Utero Constraint Turning Technique." This technique is performed in the eighth month of pregnancy. Let's be clear that the chiropractor is not practicing obstetrics. At no time are we trying to change the position of the baby as with ECV. Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic technique intended to relieve the musculoskeletal condition of the mother. The chiropractor's goal is to correct the potential cause of the intrauterine constraint. Additional recommendations for reduction of Breech presentation include the "breech tilt" and application of sound. These are also conservative less invasive techniques you can address with your doctor.
As a chiropractor, I recommend that women include chiropractic treatment as part of their prenatal care. A pregnant woman needs a healthy and strong body to endure the rigorous toll of pregnancy and childbirth. A Chiropractor's purpose is to remove nerve interference. Nerves are pathways the brain uses to relay its messages to every muscle, gland, organ, cell in the body. The brain relays the message down the spinal cord to all the nerves that filtrate in between each of the vertebra in the spine. If the message is distorted by misalignment of a bone (vertebra), the message does not get to the intended location. A "dis-ease" can be the result.
My column is designed for educational purposes only. The information in this and subsequent articles is not intended to replace the attention or advice of a physician and/or health care professional. Any person who wishes to pursue a course and/or prevent, treat and/or manage their or any other person's health concerns should always first consult a qualified health professional. None of the information or statements contained in this article is to be used in place of medical advice from a health professional. Nothing contained in this article is to be used in place of medical advice from a health professional. Nothing in this article is meant to imply a person should take actions toward any medical or chiropractic treatment without the consent and/or supervision of his/her doctor and/or specialist.
Staci Talan, D.C., I.D.E. has an office located in Fremont. She is a graduate of Sacramento State University where she earned a B.A. in Psychology. She continued her education at Life Chiropractic College-West in Hayward where she earned a doctorate in Chiropractic. She is a Certified Industrial Disability Evaluator. She is completing her provisionary status as a natural childbirth instructor of the Bradley Method. Dr. Talan is an active member of the California Chiropractic Association, Centerville Business Association, Irvington Business Association and Fremont Chamber of Commerce.
1 The Webster Technique: A Chiropractic technique with obstetric implications, Richard A. Pistolese, D.C. JMPT (July/August 2002, Vol. 25 No. 6)
2 Pediatric Chiropractic, Claudia Andrig, D.C., Gregory Plaugher, D.C., 1998 Williams and Wilkens