What is Baby Mal-Position?
It’s when the baby’s head position isn’t engaging with the pelvis, by either turning around in a way or tipping asymmetrically so that birth and labor are not optimally positioned. OB/GYN’s and Midwives will typically notice and classify a baby as Mal-Positioned somewhere between weeks 32-37. This may seem late but prior to these weeks, the baby will be moving into different positions often and it doesn’t matter up until the end of pregnancy because the baby is small enough in comparison to the uterus and so has plenty of room to move.
What are the different Mal-Positions?
Breech – buttock down
Complete Breech –baby is sitting cross legged on the cervix
Footling Breech – is butt down with one foot on the cervix
Knee Breech – is one or both knees on the cervix (most rare)
Frank Breech – is baby folded up with the buttock on the cervix and feet up by the head
Posterior position – babies nose pointing toward mom’s belly button.
Extended baby head
Asynclitic position with baby head tilted to one side or the other causing the cervix not to open evenly.
What are some of the Causes of Baby Mal-Position?
Stress, Anxiety or Fear
Pelvic Mis-alignment – especially the tail bone
Trauma even minor bumps and bangs
Tense Uterus due to muscle or any of the above issues
A patient may present with only one of the problems or she may have a combination of several causes leading to a baby in a less than optimal position.
How do you treat Mal-Position?
Chiropractic (Webster Technique)
Acupuncture or Acupressure
Turning position exercises on my favorite Website: spinningbabies.com
Water Walking for 30 minutes daily
External Version (last resort – very uncomfortable and not a very good success rate)
What is Webster Technique?
A technique that is performed by chiropractors to align the sacrum, the pelvis and a series of very specific muscles. The doctor’s in our office use their hands, a tool and muscle release to restore normal pelvic alignment so it allows the baby to turn when normal neuro-biomechanics are restored to mom’s body. Literature has shown that normal neuro-biomechanics allow for achieving optimal fetal-uterine position will reduce the likelihood of dystocia (difficult labor). The procedure usually takes 4 office visits to our Chiropractor. If baby isn’t turning by visit number 3, we add simultaneous acupuncture treatments. While most visits take usually 4 treatments, we have seen stubborn little ones take up to 8 visits; so please realize your baby and your body may not follow the typical guidelines. The success rate for Webster is fairly high and our doctor’s have a low fail rate. When Webster does fail it is usually due to cord position, and if baby were to turn – it would put their life in danger. So sometimes a procedure needs to fail so that we have a healthy happy baby and this is our primary goal.
How do I prevent a mal-positioned baby?
Literature does state that proper pelvic alignment throughout pregnancy does significantly correlate with a decrease in dystocia (difficult labor), mal-position and stress on the baby’s body. Women while pregnant have a greater chance of sacral mis-alignment and neuro-biomechanical issues due to the change in hormones, rapid weight gain and postural changes. Seeing a chiropractor periodically throughout a pregnancy is recommended for both mom’s and babies health. Massage can also be a tool used to maintain correct muscle movement and prevent undue stress on baby or mom. In our office, we recommend the following adjustment schedule broken down by week. This can by modified anytime if back or pelvic pain develops because they are signals that a neuro-biomechanical issue is occurring. We want to correct this before we have a stressed or mal-positioned baby. During pregnancy, exercise regularly, walking, swimming or yoga can all help maintain a healthy pelvis and help with labor as well as keeping baby in a good position while In utero.
Week 10-14 (or sooner if pain develops)
Week 40 a day after due date.
(And always schedule an appointment for Acupuncture a couple days after your due date so they can naturally start encouraging labor.)
Is chiropractic care safe for pregnant women?
Chiropractic care is safe for most pregnant women. Here is a list of the exceptions. If you are already under chiropractic care, please inform your Chiropractor immediately if:
Contraindications to adjusting may include vaginal bleeding, ruptured amniotic membranes, cramping, sudden onset of pelvic pain, premature labor, placenta previa (not always a contraindication), placenta abruption, ectopic pregnancy, and moderate to severe toxemia.
Below are some References: