Baby Mal-position (Breech) and Correction with Chiropractic

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
Transverse position
Posterior position – babies nose pointing toward mom’s belly button.
Oblique position
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
Bad Posture
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
Positive Attitude
Pelvic tilts
Turning position exercises on my favorite Website:
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 18-21
Week 23-26
Week 29-32
Week 38
Week 39
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:

The Chiropractic Approach to Low Back Pain

What is back pain?

Back pain typically occurs in the lumbar spine and pelvic region otherwise know as the buttocks.  The pain can occur from a tightening of muscles or joints that get jammed due to a specific incident or small injuries that occur over time from work, athletics or even desk jobs.

What is the most common cause of back pain?

The most common cause of back pain is related to repetitive strain injuries that occur on the job or during daily activities.  Working on the computer, cooking, sewing or any activity that keeps you repeating the same movements from the same position can be the culprit of that nagging backache. The strain happens when either the muscles are tight and you are unable to stretch them, or when a joint is misaligned and the muscles become painful as they try to re-align the joint.

What are the less common types of back pain?

Degenerative disc disease, arthritis, herniation and neurologic conditions are all injuries that occur to the spine and more commonly in the low back.  These conditions will likely cause you great distress and you will need to seek a health care provider’s services.  The following symptoms require an immediate visit to your doctor:

  • History of cancer
  • Unexplained weight loss >10 kg within 6 months
  • Age over 50 years or under 17 years old
  • Failure to improve with therapy
  • Pain persists for more than 4 to 6 weeks
  • Night pain or pain at rest
  • Persistent fever (temperature over 100.4 F)
  • History of intravenous drug abuse
  • Organ transplant
  • Recent bacterial infection
  • Major muscle weakness
  • Trouble lifting your foot
  • Numbness and lower extremity weakness
  • Anal sphincter dysfunction
  • Recent trauma
  • History of osteoporosis

What are the basic causes of back pain?

  • Desk job
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Herniated disk
  • Gravity
  • Sports injury
  • Bacterial Infection
  • Fractures
  • Cancer
  • Repetitive strain
  • Jammed (misaligned) joints

Why see a Chiropractor instead of a massage therapist?

Chiropractic care helps re-align joints which stops the pain related to the muscles trying to push the joint back into alignment.  A typical response to this type of pain might be to stretch or get a massage.  While this might temporarily ease the pain, if you don’t re-align the joints, the muscles will loyally return to their job of trying to push the joint back into place and you will be back in pain once again.  This isn’t to say that massage can’t be a terrific partner in getting rid of long term pain. We feel that massage and chiropractic can make an excellent team!

Getting adjusted not only will help relieve your low back pain, but offers other health benefits as well.  According to research by Sean M. Hannon, BA, DC, chiropractic adjustment can result in the following physiologic changes:            

  • Increased strength
  • Increased oxygen consumption capacity
  • Increased range of motion
  • Decreased pain
  • Increase cardiac regulation
  • Increased immunity

Considering these benefits, it is easy to see why athletes and other health conscious people seek out regular chiropractic care. If you suffer from chronic or even occasional back pain, contact our office.  We can help!

What are some of the techniques we use to treat low back pain?

Our doctors are trained in many different types of adjustment techniques ranging from hands-on to instrument adjusting.  They also use different types of soft tissue therapies that can benefit an injury whether it is chronic or acute.  Treating both joint and soft tissue issues allows an injury more complete resolution than either alone.  The techniques used are:

  • Graston – soft-tissue and fascia therapy
  • Activator – instrument adjusting (non-force)
  • Sacro-occipital Technique (SOT) – Use of pelvic alignment (non-force)
  • Diversified Adjustment – Manual medicine with hands
  • Thompson Drop Adjustment – Using the table to increase speed of adjustment but not the pressure put on a body
  • Quatum Neurology – instrument adjusting (non-force) uses nerve reflexes as well
  • Gonstead – Classic manual chiropractic adjustment
  • Kinesio tape – muscle therapy and proprioceptive training using tape
  • Cranio-sacral technique – hands-on soft-tissue manipulation
  • Pediatric and Pregnancy Specific adjustments – hands on but specifically designed for certain times of life
  • Webster Technique – pelvis alignment for turning breech babies