Does the Webster Technique Work for Breech Babies?

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A breech baby is when a baby in utero is turned the wrong way and is not in the proper positioning to make its way through the birthing canal.  Breech babies can be buttocks or feet first instead of head down. If a baby is breech up until the time of delivery, a normal, vaginal birth is typically not possible.  In earlier stages of pregnancy, doctors will monitor the baby’s positioning in hopes that it will correct itself.  But by the 34th week of pregnancy, something must be done to turn a breech baby or else a C-section may be necessary at delivery. 

Turning a Breech Baby

By 34 weeks, approximately 4% of babies are still in the breech position. Approximately 13% of all C-sections performed are because a baby is still breech.  Birthing interventions like C-sections are sometimes medically necessary, but the best and less invasive option for both mom and baby would be for baby to transition into the right position for a vaginal delivery. Babies can move into the proper birthing position after 34 weeks but are less likely to turn during the last part of the 3rd trimester.  Doctors have methods for turning a breech baby in the hopes to get them face down before delivery.  They use a method called ECV, or External Cephalic Version.  This method involves applying intense pressure to the womb in the hopes that this pressure will force the baby to flip.  But this method can be extremely painful for mom and traumatic for the baby.  Not to mention it only works part of the time and there is no guarantee of success.  If you are late in pregnancy and have a baby in the breech position, consider safer, less invasive methods for turning him or her, such as chiropractic care from a Bentonville chiropractor.

About the Webster Technique

The Webster Technique is a technique utilized by chiropractor Dr. Tom Niemela of Arbor Vitae Chiropractic.  This technique was first developed by Dr. Larry Webster with his daughter in mind.  She has previous undergone a very traumatic birth experience in which her baby was breech.  Dr. Webster realized that spinal misalignments can play a significant role in the baby’s position in the womb.  He practiced the Webster Technique on pregnant women and noticed that many babies who were previously breech would turn on their own accord into the ideal head-down position before birth.  Because of his research, the Webster Technique has become one of the leading methods for turning a breech baby for a better birthing experience for mom and baby.

What Does the Webster Technique Do?

This primary goal of this chiropractic technique is to remove spinal misalignments and alleviate pressure on the uterus.  When vertebrae of the spine are twisted, turned, or out of place, it can place unwanted pressure on the uterus, limiting space in the womb.  But removing spinal misalignments can relieve the pressure and allow the baby room to move about, including turning into the vertex position for delivery.  Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Tom Niemela will gently adjust the sacrum to align the spine and pelvis of the mom, which creates optimal space in the womb for the baby to turn as necessary. The success rate for turning a breech baby with the Webster Technique is high, sometimes as high as 92%! With regular chiropractic care throughout pregnancy, moms can experience increased comfort, provide more room for their baby in the womb, decrease the likelihood of a C-section, and have an easier and faster delivery. 

If your baby is breech, chiropractic care is a noninvasive, safe, and gentle method for turning a breech baby.  Schedule an appointment with Dr. Tom Niemela of Arbor Vitae Chiropractic for optimal results.




Choahan, N.  “Birth interventions ‘negatively impact child’s long-term health”. The Sydney Morning Herald, Mar. 2018.

Pistolese, R. “The Webster Technique: a chiropractic technique with obstetric implications.” Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapy.” 2002 Jul-Aug; 25(6): E1-9.

About the Webster Technique.