Can acupuncture help turn a breech baby?
We work to turn a breech baby in Traditional Chinese Medicine by encouraging fetal movement with moxibustion. Often, we add acupunture as well. Moxibustion is a technique used to warm acupuncture points. The heat from burning moxa sticks stimulates the baby to move. This encourages it to turn. The moxa sticks contain processed leaves of the mugwort plant. It burns very hot, like a piece of charcoal. Acupuncture is effective in combination with moxibustion. We will instruct you in techniques to help you turn your baby at home as well.
A randomized controlled trial (see below) indicates that at approximately 70% of breech babies will turn using this method. If the baby does not turn from its breech position, external cephalic version should be attempted just before labour begins. Further information can be found in the Cochrane Library.
When should I begin acupuncture for breech presentation?
If your baby is breech you should begin treatments as soon as possible. The ideal time to start is 33 weeks or before. If you are past that now, it is not too late. Though it is best to start getting treatment earlier, it is never too late. You can start treatments now. We do treatments daily until the baby turns. You can also do at home treatments with our Sacred Fire moxa packs. We will show you how. It is relaxing and easy to do.
Is there any research on turning a breech baby with Acupuncture and Moxabustion?
Moxibustion in the 33rd week may turn breech babies via increased fetal movements. Abstract: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=188144
Breech Presentation is a variation of a normal birth presentation. It does not necessarily mean the birth must be done via Cesarean Section. Often, if the baby does not turn there is some reason. Sometimes the cord is too short, the placenta is in the way, or the baby is simply too big to turn itself.
Is there anything else I can do?
Additonally, you can encourage your baby to turn with Chiropractic. We offer that as well! The Webster technique is very gentle and is done to relax the ligaments around the pelvis. This creates more space for the baby to move and turn itself.
Here is additional information about moxibustion and acupuncture for breech presentation.
Finally, please watch this video by Glow acupuncturist Becca Bull on how to turn a breech baby with moxa to learn the technique.
Additonally, Sacred Fire Moxa Packs for home use are available for purchase in our office.