Breech presentation and intrauterine constraints

Nowadays, it is estimated that one pregnancy out of 25 involves breech presentation, by the buttock, feet or leg rather than vertex, by the head.

Furthermore, 13 % of caesarean sections are performed for a breech birth. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 15% in an acceptable rate of caesarean section in the general population. In Quebec and in North America, this rate is currently of about 22 %1. Chiropractic care is a natural and non-invasive solution that helps reversing many cases of breech and can help reduce the current caesarean section rate for these cases.

What are intrauterine constraints? They are external forces that prevent the foetus from moving normally and that can prevent your foetus from tipping upside down after the 32nd week of pregnancy, thus being eligible for vaginal delivery. Any imbalance in the pelvis and sacrum leads to abnormal tension and muscle and ligament imbalances, which cause these constraints. Since the spine has a protective role at the spinal cord and nerves, the nervous system cannot adequately convey the information and direct it towards the neurological structures of the pelvis and uterus.

Webster and Bagnell techniques are a specific chiropractic analysis and an adjustment technique (spine manipulation) that can reduce nerve interference, improve the functioning of the pelvis and tailbone, lumbar region, muscles and ligaments which in turn reduce intrauterine constraints and allow the baby to be positioned optimally for delivery. Adjustments of the pelvis, pubic symphysis and spine are specially designed for pregnant women and are completely safe for the foetus. The treatment also includes muscle and ligaments relaxation.

These techniques adapted to the cases of breech babies must be performed by a by a doctor of chiropractic who have completed post-graduate training in obstetrics and paediatrics. The JMPT (Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics)2-3 reported a success rate of 81 % in chiropractor performing this technique. An early treatment, between the 30th and 36th week is preferred because it increases the chances of success. After the 36th week, the chances are reduced because the baby gains weight and there is little room left for his movement.

It is important to ask your doctor or midwife if there is a physiological explanation for breech presentation or transverse position. For example, some uterus shapes could increase the risks of breech presentation. If nothing can explain such a presentation, chiropractic care may be indicated. Since this technique is natural and non-invasive and reflects the normal biomechanics of the pregnant woman, no side effects or complications have been reported to date. The chiropractor may also offer you a series of exercises that help the baby to stay in vertex position thereafter.

Chiropractors advocate natural solutions, oriented towards our well-being, allowing the body to heal itself.


  1. ICIS (Canadian Institute for Health Information), avril 2004
  2. The Webster technique: a chiropractic technique with obstetrical implications, JMPT 2002, Jul-Aug; 25 (6): Chiropractic management of third trimester in-utero constraint.   Forrester J.   Can Chiropractor 1997; 2(3): 8-13 (Special Section)
  3. Hacker & Moore, Essentials of obstetrics and gynaecology, Saunders, 3rd edition
  4. Paul C. M.D. Macdonald et al., Williams obstetrics, F.Gary Cunningham, 20th edition
Christine Bourdeau

Dr Christine Bourdeau, Chiropractor Centre chiropratique Fleury Ouest 212, Fleury W. Montreal  514-385-5100514-385-5100

Joëlle Malenfant

Dr. Joëlle Malenfant is a chiropractionner in Quebec City. She has a postgraduate doctorate in chiropractic care for pregnant women and children. She accompanies women in labour and is a volunteer at Entraide Naturo-Lait, an organization supporting breastfeeding. Joëlle is also the proud mother of a 4- year-old boy, Christophe. Clinique chiropratique Maguire 1452, rue Maguire, bureau 100 Québec, Québec G1T 1Z4 Tél : 418.684.0004418.684.0004 Call Send SMS Add to Skype You'll need Skype CreditFree via Skype

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