Using moxa acupuncture to turn breech babies
Studies have shown that Acupuncture is successful in turning breech or transverse babies to their optimal position for birth, using a Chinese technique called ‘moxibustion’ or ‘moxa’. This can be helpful for those wishing for a natural birth, or a birth with as little intervention as possible.
What does it entail?
The technique involves the burning of a Chinese herb (mugwort) to warm an acupuncture point on the outside of the little toe. It is carried out once-twice a day for up to 10 days, until the baby has turned into the optimal position. Many women report the baby beginning to kick and move after a few minutes of treatment. It can take several days of treatment for the baby to turn. Treatment is best done while the mother is lying down.
What research has been done to prove this technique works?
A study in 1998 by Cardini and Weixin set out to examine the efficacy of moxibustion in correcting breech presentation and increasing foetal activity. It concluded that moxa was a safe and effective method to convert a breech presentation.
260 women in their 33rd week of pregnancy were recruited for this study. 50% of the women received moxa to the last point on the bladder channel, Zhi yin BL-67. This was performed for 30 minutes daily for 1-2 weeks. The other half served as the control with no treatment at all. During the 35th week, 75% of babies in the moxa group had turned, compared to 48% in the control group. It was also found that babies in the moxa group moved more than those in the control group: on average 48 movements per hour in the moxa group compared to 35 movements per hour in the control group.
Those women participating in the study were followed to term, and results showed that 75% of babies in the moxa group were born head first compared to 62% in the control group
I have been treating patients with these conditions. With acupuncture, herb plaster and heat, most of patients can turn with about four visits. There is one case only took one visit and baby turned. Normally the best timing for turning breech baby is between 30 and 35 weeks. Recently, I had patient with 35 weeks pregnancy, baby was over 7 lb. After 10 visits, baby turned.
Hi Shu –
Good news!! The baby is head down now. We will keep monitoring and I will keep you updated. Do you think I should still have treatments?
I think the allergy treatment is helping as well and would like to continue to do those for the remainder of the year while I am nursing.
The baby turned!!! She is head down! Looks like you were able to get her moving!!!