Preparing for Labor with Acupuncture

Preparing for Labor with Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Pregnancy is an extraordinary journey filled with joy, anticipation, and a fair share of challenges. Preparing for labor becomes a paramount concern for expectant mothers as the due date approaches. Among the various methods available, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offer unique, holistic approaches to ease birthing. This blog post delves into preparing for labor with acupuncture to ensure a smoother and more relaxed experience.

Understanding Acupuncture and TCM

The Principles of TCM

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a comprehensive system of health care that has been practiced for thousands of years. At its core are the concepts of Qi (pronounced “chee”) and the meridian system. Qi is the vital energy that flows through our bodies, maintaining health and equilibrium. When Qi is balanced and flowing smoothly, we experience good health. Conversely, blockages or imbalances can lead to illness and discomfort.

The meridian system is a network of channels through which Qi flows. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles at specific points along these meridians to restore balance and promote the smooth flow of Qi. This practice aims to harmonize the body, mind, and spirit.

How Acupuncture Works

Acupuncture works by stimulating specific points on the body, known as acupuncture points or acupoints. For pregnant women, certain acupoints are selected to support pregnancy and prepare for labor. These points help regulate the body’s systems, alleviate discomfort, and promote overall well-being. By addressing imbalances in the body’s energy, acupuncture can ease common pregnancy-related issues and prepare the body for a smoother labor process.

The Benefits of Preparing for Labor with Acupuncture

Research-Based Benefits

Numerous studies have highlighted the benefits of acupuncture for pregnant women.

Here are a few key findings:

  • Relieving Back Pain: Acupuncture has been shown to effectively reduce pregnancy-related back pain, offering much-needed relief.
  • Easing Morning Sickness: Many pregnant women find that regular acupuncture sessions help alleviate morning sickness and nausea.
  • Turning Breech Babies: While turning a breech baby can be challenging, acupuncture combined with moxibustion (a TCM technique involving heat) has shown promising results in encouraging babies to turn to the optimal position for birth.

Preparing for Labor With Acupuncture

Acupuncture plays a significant role in preparing the body for labor by:

  • Reducing Anxiety: Pregnancy can bring about anxiety and stress. Acupuncture promotes relaxation and emotional balance, helping expectant mothers feel calmer and more centered.
  • Balancing Hormones: Regular acupuncture sessions can help balance hormones, supporting the body’s natural processes as it prepares for labor.
  • Promoting Relaxation: Acupuncture encourages deep relaxation, easing tension in the body and mind. This relaxation can be particularly beneficial as labor approaches, creating a more favorable environment for childbirth.

The Process of Preparing for Labor With Acupuncture

Timing and Frequency

Preparing for labor with acupuncture typically begins around the 36th week of pregnancy. In general, practitioners recommend weekly sessions until the due date. Each session is tailored to the individual’s needs, focusing on supporting the body and addressing any specific concerns.

Importance of Spleen 6 in Cervical Ripening

Spleen 6, also known as SP6 or Sanyinjiao, holds significant importance in preparing for labor and delivery, particularly in cervical ripening. Located on the inner leg above the ankle, SP6 is a vital acupoint often used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for its broad-reaching benefits during pregnancy and labor.

How SP6 Aids Cervical Ripening

Cervical ripening refers to the process by which the cervix softens, thins, and dilates in preparation for childbirth. Stimulating SP6 through acupuncture can effectively promote this process, enhancing the body’s readiness for labor. This point is particularly valuable because it is the intersection of the spleen, liver, and kidney meridians, which play crucial roles in reproductive health.

Research indicates that stimulating SP6 can increase cervical ripening by promoting the release of prostaglandins—hormone-like substances involved in the dilation and softening of the cervix. By encouraging the body’s natural processes, SP6 helps facilitate a more efficient and less painful labor.

Supporting Evidence

A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research examined the effects of SP6 stimulation on cervical ripening and labor induction. The study found that women who received regular acupuncture sessions targeting SP6 experienced improved cervical status compared to those who did not.

Additionally, the study highlighted fewer labor induction procedures among the acupuncture group, underscoring SP6’s efficacy in natural labor preparation.

Another research article in the Complementary Therapies in Medicine journal noted that women who underwent acupuncture treatments focusing on SP6 had shorter labor durations and reported lower pain levels. These findings suggest that including SP6 stimulation as part of a labor preparation regimen could lead to a smoother and more manageable birthing experience.

In conclusion, the inclusion of Spleen 6 in acupuncture for labor preparation is supported by both traditional principles of TCM and contemporary research. Its ability to aid in cervical ripening and overall promotion of labor readiness makes it an indispensable part of holistic prenatal care.

Understanding What to Expect

During an acupuncture session, you may feel a slight tingling or warmth at the needle insertion points. However, the process is generally painless and deeply relaxing. Your practitioner will guide you through each step, ensuring your comfort and addressing any concerns you may have.

Incorporating Electrical Stimulation

Enhancing Acupuncture with Electroacupuncture

For those seeking to amplify the effects of traditional acupuncture, the incorporation of electrical stimulation, known as electroacupuncture, can be highly beneficial. Through this technique, practitioners connect electrodes to the acupuncture needles and deliver gentle electrical pulses to the body. This method intensifies the therapeutic impact of each session, offering a range of enhanced benefits for labor preparation and overall well-being.

How Electroacupuncture Can Support Labor Preparation

When applied to key points like Spleen 6, electroacupuncture can bolster the natural processes involved in cervical ripening and dilation. The mild electrical current enhances the stimulation of the acupoints, potentially increasing the release of prostaglandins and other important hormones that facilitate labor. This added stimulation can help in promoting a more efficient progression toward labor.

Supporting Evidence for Electroacupuncture

Research underscores the efficacy of electroacupuncture in various clinical scenarios, including labor preparation. Studies suggest that this method can help reduce labor pain, shorten labor duration, and improve cervical readiness more significantly than traditional acupuncture alone. For instance, an article published in the Journal of Pain Research demonstrated that women who received electroacupuncture reported lower pain levels and had a higher likelihood of spontaneous labor onset compared to those who underwent standard acupuncture treatments.

While electroacupuncture offers additional benefits, it’s important to discuss this option with your practitioner. Not all patients are suitable candidates, and individual needs should always be considered to ensure the safest and most effective treatment plan.


Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine offer valuable, natural methods for preparing for labor. By understanding the principles of TCM and the benefits of acupuncture, expectant mothers can take proactive steps to ensure a smoother, more relaxed birthing experience. Whether it’s relieving back pain, easing anxiety, or promoting overall well-being, acupuncture has much to offer in the journey

Ready to explore the benefits of acupuncture for labor preparation?

Contact our pregnancy specialists today to schedule a consultation and begin your journey toward a more relaxed and empowered childbirth experience.

Embrace the wisdom of TCM and acupuncture, and prepare for labor with confidence and peace of mind.

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Benefits of Acupuncture for Labor Prep

Exploring the Benefits of Acupuncture for Labor Prep

For expecting mothers, finding natural and effective methods for labor preparation is a priority.

Among these, acupuncture has emerged as a popular choice, heralded not just by centuries of traditional medicine but also by modern research. This blog post dives into how acupuncture can help in preparing for labor, supported by expert opinions and studies.

The Roots of Acupuncture for Labor Prep

Acupuncture, a pillar of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), has been used for thousands of years to promote health and treat a wide array of conditions. When it comes to pregnancy and childbirth, acupuncture has specific applications designed to ease the transition into labor, reduce labor time, and even alleviate labor pain.

What the Experts Say

Debra Betts, a renowned expert in acupuncture for pregnancy and childbirth, offers an encouraging perspective on the practice. In her work, Acupressure and Acupuncture for labor prep, Betts states, “Acupuncture offers a natural and holistic approach to managing the challenges of pregnancy and labor, encouraging the body’s own mechanisms for preparing for childbirth.”

This endorsement highlights the practice’s alignment with the body’s natural processes and its potential to support women during this critical time.

How Acupuncture Helps

Encouraging Cervical Ripening

Research indicates that acupuncture can help in cervical ripening, potentially leading to a more timely and efficient labor process. By stimulating specific points, acupuncture seeks to encourage the body to initiate natural processes that prepare the cervix and pelvis for labor.

Reducing Labor Pain

Pain management is a significant concern for most expecting mothers as they approach delivery. Acupuncture has been shown to offer pain relief during labor by releasing endorphins— the body’s natural painkillers— and by reducing inflammation and promoting relaxation.

Managing Stress and Anxiety

The anticipatory anxiety before labor can affect the onset and progression of labor. Acupuncture provides a calming effect, reducing stress and promoting a sense of well-being by balancing the body’s energy flow, known as Qi, which can also be beneficial in achieving a more manageable and less stressful labor experience.

Supporting Optimal Positioning of the Baby

Regular acupuncture sessions in the weeks leading up to delivery can also play a role in optimizing the baby’s position for birth, an essential aspect of preparing for a smoother labor process.

When to Start Acupuncture for Labor Prep & Delivery

In preparation for labor, it is often recommended to start acupuncture sessions around 36 to 37 weeks of gestation. This timing allows for strategic intervention during the pre-birth phase, focusing on promoting cervical ripening, encouraging optimal positioning of the baby, and supporting the body’s readiness for labor.

Incorporating acupuncture for labor prep can also help in enhancing uterine receptivity, facilitating relaxation, and preparing both the mind and body for a smooth and positive childbirth experience.

Spleen 6 (SP6) – Key Acupuncture Point to Support Cervical Ripening

Acupuncture point Spleen 6 (SP6), also known as “Sanyinjiao,” holds significant importance in the realm of labor preparation, specifically in promoting cervical ripening.

Here’s why SP6 is a crucial acupuncture point for this purpose:

  • Location and Function: SP6 is situated on the inner leg, about three finger-widths above the medial malleolus. Stimulating SP6 is believed to nourish the Spleen, Liver, and Kidney meridians, promoting blood circulation, harmonizing Qi flow, and addressing gynecological concerns.
  • Cervical Ripening: As labor approaches, cervical ripening becomes pivotal for the progression of childbirth. SP6 stimulation is thought to soften and ripen the cervix by encouraging the release of prostaglandins, hormones that aid in cervical dilation and effacement, thereby facilitating a smoother labor process.
  • Supporting Uterine Contractions: SP6 activation may also help regulate uterine contractions, ensuring they are coordinated and effective during labor. This can contribute to the efficiency of labor and potentially reduce the risk of complications.

Research Supports the Benefits of Acupuncture for Labor Prep

While traditional practices have long touted the benefits of acupuncture, modern research offers valuable empirical support.

Betts’ extensive research and clinical experience, as documented in her book, provide a solid foundation for acupuncture’s role in preparing for labor. Incorporating acupuncture for labor prep can enhance natural physiological processes, potentially reduce the need for medical interventions, and present an appealing option for many seeking a holistic approach to childbirth.

Final Thoughts

For expecting mothers exploring natural ways to prepare for labor, acupuncture offers a promising avenue supported by both tradition and contemporary research.

Before starting any new treatment, especially during pregnancy, it’s crucial to consult with healthcare providers and seek licensed acupuncture practitioners who specialize in or are experienced with pregnancy care.

Remember, every pregnancy is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. The key is to stay informed and choose the best path for you and your baby, guided by professional advice and your own body’s wisdom.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services.

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Acupuncture Through the Journey of Parenthood

Acupuncture Through the Journey of Parenthood

by Susannah Lee, LA

Acupuncture from Conception to Postpartum

Becoming a parent is one of life’s most beautiful yet challenging experiences. It’s a time filled with anticipation, joy, and inevitably some stress and physical discomfort.

Whether you’re just starting on your path towards conception or you’re navigating the postpartum period, acupuncture may offer a harmonizing support to your body’s natural rhythms and healing processes.

The Hope in Every Needle: Acupuncture and Fertility

For those trying to conceive, the road can sometimes be frustratingly unpredictable. But amidst the uncertainty, acupuncture emerges as a beacon of hope — a traditional practice with roots reaching back through centuries, now supporting the modern-day miracle of conception.

Harmonizing Your Cycle

Regular menstrual cycles and proper ovulation are keystones of fertility. Acupuncture, known for promoting balance and reducing stress, can help regulate your cycle and enhance ovulation. By stimulating the flow of qi, or life energy, and blood throughout the body, this ancient technique encourages a more fertile ground for conception.

Empowering Egg Quality

The quality of eggs is crucial, and research has indicated that acupuncture can improve this aspect of fertility. Sessions of carefully placed fine needles might just be your ally in optimizing egg health, making the conception process more welcoming for new life.

A Stress-Free Sanctuary

Stress is a well-known antagonist in the pregnancy narrative, often uninvited and persistent. Acupuncture offers a respite, inviting calmness into the body’s hectic script. By relieving stress, this modality of treatment not only supports emotional resilience but also nurtures fertility.

Your Pregnancy Partner: Acupuncture for a Serene Journey

Pregnancy is often accompanied by a cast of less-welcomed symptoms — nausea, pain, and insomnia. Acupuncture steps in as a compassionate companion, easing these common discomforts.

Navigating Nausea and Pain

Morning sickness can overshadow the early days of pregnancy. Acupuncture gently and effectively minimizes nausea, allowing you to savor the joy of your growing miracle without constant discomfort. Additionally, it offers non-pharmacological relief from common pregnancy-related pains such as low backaches, sciatica, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Energizing Through Fatigue

Pregnancy fatigue can be all-consuming. Acupuncture, with its holistic approach, might just be the natural pick-me-up you need. By restoring the body’s balance, it can help bolster energy levels, making room for radiant vitality amidst the exhaustion.

Restful Nights and Digestive Comfort

For too many expecting mothers, restorative sleep can feel just out of reach, and digestion might seem like a daily puzzle. Acupuncture ushers in tranquility and digestive order, smoothing the path towards restful nights and comfortable days.

The Postpartum Promise

After childbirth, recovery is paramount. Acupuncture shines in this critical stage by supporting the body, mind and spirit.

Nurturing Your Emotional Well-being in the Postpartum Phase

The silence around postpartum emotional health is gradually being broken, shining light on the importance of mental and emotional care during this significant life transition. Postpartum depression and anxiety, while common, should not be considered a norm that mothers must silently endure.

Just as it aids in physical recovery, acupuncture can play a crucial role in emotional healing as well. The calming practice invites a sense of peace, helping to alleviate the overwhelming feelings of anxiety or depression that can sometimes follow childbirth. Its gentle stimulation of the body’s energy flow can contribute to a balanced emotional state, providing a sanctuary of tranquility for new mothers navigating the complex emotions of the postpartum period.

Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, and taking care of your emotional health is just as important as your physical recovery. Acupuncture could be the supportive friend you need, one that soothes the spirit and fosters mental serenity. Together, with professional guidance and a nurturing approach, we can create a postpartum experience that celebrates both the joys and challenges of new motherhood.

Nurturing Your Physical Recovery

The postpartum period is a time of profound physical and emotional adjustment, and your body deserves gentle, nurturing care as it recovers from the miracle of childbirth.

Acupuncture stands out as a supportive healing practice, focusing on accelerating recovery (whether your birth was vaginal or via c-section), alleviating pain, and restoring strength. By targeting specific points on the body, it helps in reducing the swelling and discomfort that are often experienced after delivery, promoting a quicker return to harmonized health.

This ancient art goes beyond just physical recovery; it holistically addresses your wellbeing, ensuring that as you step into your new role, you do so with vitality and balance.

Remember, prioritizing your recovery is not just about healing; it’s about empowering yourself in this new chapter of life. Your wellbeing is the foundation from which you can offer the best care to your newborn.

Consider acupuncture not just as a treatment but as a companion in your postpartum recovery, guiding you gently back to your fullest, most vibrant self.

A Call to Wellness

If you’re ready to explore how acupuncture can support your family’s beginnings, we invite you to reach out and begin your own healing story. Connect with our licensed acupuncturists who can guide you with empathy and expertise on a truly individualized path to wellness.

Your aspirations for health, comfort, and balance are valid and achievable — sometimes it just takes the soft touch of acupuncture to reveal the strength already present within your body. Embark on this nurturing path and discover how such an ancient practice can beautifully complement your modern experience of becoming a parent.

Contact us today and take a compassionate step towards holistic health and harmony as you travel the profound path from conception to postpartum.

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What Can You Do About a Breech Baby

By Juliet Tablac, DC – Los Gatos Wellness

You just found out your baby is breech….

This can be worrisome, especially while you are preparing for all that comes with giving birth and bringing your little one into the world!

The good news is there are many ways to help manage a breech baby naturally!

Modalities like acupuncture, exercises, and getting chiropractic care, specifically, The Webster Technique, can help indirectly with the baby’s position.

How does the Webster Technique work?

The Webster Technique is designed explicitly for pregnant patients! This technique was created to help balance the joints, muscles and ligaments of the pelvis.

Specifically your SI joints (the two joints on either side of your sacrum (big triangular bone at the back of the pelvis), your pubic symphysis (the joint at the front of your pelvis), your psoas or hip flexor muscles, your round ligament and sacrotuberous ligament.

How does balancing all of these help anyway?

You can think of your uterus like a hot air ballon and your pelvis as the basket of the balloon.

If there are tight, joints, muscle or ligaments on any sides of the hot air balloon it can pull on the the balloon, make the shape different or change the even floating motion of the balloon (uterus).

The Uterus is Like a Hot Air Balloon The Uterus is Like a Hot Air Balloon 2

By balancing all of the joints, muscles and ligaments of the pelvis, the uterus has a more balanced position and that allows baby more freedom and space to turn on its own!

The Webster Technique is very gentle and is ideal when working with the more hyper mobile (due to the hormone relaxin) pregnant population.

Bonus! You can get The Webster Technique done even when your baby isn’t breech!!

It helps with all kinds of pregnancy related aches and pains like SI joint pain, pubic symphysis pain, hip pain, low back pain and helps create a spacious and balanced environment for baby.

We love working with pregnant mama’s and helping them achieve optimal health both for themselves and baby. Please reach out with any questions and let us know how we can help you!

By Juliet Tablac, DC – Los Gatos Wellness


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A Brief Introduction to Moxibustion

A Brief Introduction to Moxibustion

Have you ever heard of moxibustion?

You may have seen it before, or even experienced it during a visit to your acupuncturist. Moxibustion is a form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) therapy that has been used to treat various health conditions for more than 2500 years. Let’s take a look at what exactly moxibustion is and how it’s used in traditional Chinese medicine.

What Is Moxibustion?

Mugwort, or artemisia, is a flowering species belonging to the daisy family. Moxibustion is an external treatment applied directly onto the surface of an acupoint to warm certain points on the body.

It involves the burning of moxa wool, which is made from dried mugwort plant material, until it produces heat that penetrates into the skin. The heat stimulates the flow of qi (energy) and blood throughout the body, which helps improve circulation and promote healing.

It can also help reduce pain and inflammation.

What Conditions Can Moxibustion Treat?

Moxibustion has the ability to balance and regulate qi, blood and yang energy; expel cold; warm yang energy; and protect against illnesses, helping to ensure overall health and well-being.

The most common usage of a moxa treatment in to turn a breech baby. In this case, indirect moxa is used on a point on the little toe every day for 10 days to turn a baby. It is effective and used by midwives and hospitals in Australia!

Moxibustion can also be used to treat a variety of conditions, including menstrual pain, arthritis in the joints of the fingers, chronic coughs due to cold accumulation in the lungs, digestive problems such as constipation and diarrhea, and bleeding that will not stop.

How Is Moxibustion Applied?

Moxibustion is a therapeutic technique that involves the application of heat to specific acupuncture points on the body. It can be applied in various ways, including holding the lit end of a roll of dried mugwort near but not touching the skin, or placing moxa-infused wool on top of an acupuncture needle or close to the skin and letting it smolder for 10-15 minutes before removing it.

The frequency of treatment depends on the condition being treated – for some conditions it may be administered daily or twice weekly over a series of weeks or months.

Who should perform Moxabustion treatment?

It is important to only undergo moxibustion therapy with the assistance of a certified and qualified professional. If you receive acupuncture treatments, you can consult with your acupuncturist on whether they offer moxibustion services or can refer you to another trusted practitioner.

Moxibustion is a safe and effective form of traditional Chinese medicine therapy that has been used for centuries to treat various ailments ranging from menstrual pain to digestive issues. It works by stimulating qi flow throughout the body and promoting better circulation and improved overall health.

It remains one of our very favorite modalities due to its calming and warming properties, and is a fabulous way to level-up an acupuncture treatment!

Schedule a 15 minute video consultation to learn more about how our team of acupuncturists can support you!

Anna Rudel
San Jose Acupuncturist
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Benefits of Acupuncture for Morning Sickness

Benefits of Acupuncture for Morning Sickness

For pregnant women, morning sickness can be a debilitating condition.

While it may seem like an unavoidable part of pregnancy, there are ways to lessen the effects of nausea and vomiting. Let’s take a look at how acupuncture can be used to reduce pregnancy nausea in expectant mothers.

How Does Acupuncture Help with Pregnancy Nausea?

  • Acupuncture targets specific points on the body that reduce nausea.
  • Acupuncture promotes relaxation
  • Acupuncture can help reduce anxiety

Research suggests that acupuncture treatments can help improve symptoms of nausea in pregnant women, including vomiting and queasiness.

Acupuncture is also thought to be effective at helping balance out hormones that may be causing nausea or upset stomach. By stimulating certain points on the body (known as acupoints), this ancient medical practice can help reduce stress levels and increase endorphin levels in order to lessen feelings of nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy.

A number of studies have suggested that acupuncture is effective in reducing the symptoms of morning sickness in pregnant women.

One study in 2010, conducted at Northwestern University and published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that acupuncture treatments reduced reported symptoms of nausea, vomiting and queasiness. Additionally, a 2008 study from the National Institutes of Health examined the effects of acupuncture on pregnant women with severe nausea and vomiting and found positive results. Finally, a 2007 study from China’s Fudan University found that combining acupuncture with other treatments, such as ginger root extract or acupressure, was more effective than drug therapy alone for managing morning sickness.

In addition to its physical benefits, many women find that acupuncture helps them cope better with their symptoms emotionally as well. Many report feeling more relaxed and less anxious after their treatments—which can help them feel more comfortable throughout their pregnancies and make it easier for them to manage any discomfort they may experience due to morning sickness or other issues related to pregnancy.

It is important to use a licensed acupuncturist who is experienced in treating pregnant women.

Pregnancy nausea can be a difficult thing for many women to cope with, but fortunately there are methods available for alleviating its effects—including acupuncture. Many of our patients have experienced relief of nausea or queasiness, so if you’re experiencing uncomfortable symptoms during your pregnancy, consider trying out some soothing sessions of acupuncture.

Ginger tea is a simple and effective home remedy for morning sickness that many pregnant women swear by. It is safe, inexpensive and easy to make—simply steep some freshly grated ginger root in hot water, strain it, and add a little honey or lemon if desired.

Ginger tea can help soothe nausea and vomiting by calming the stomach and improving digestion. Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation of the digestive tract which can be caused by morning sickness. Interestingly, research shows that ginger helps not just with morning sickness but also other gastrointestinal disorders like IBS. Not everyone responds to ginger in the same way, but for many women it has been an effective natural treatment for morning sickness that can be made at home.

Ginger Tea Recipe

To make ginger tea for morning sickness, you will need:

  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (optional)


  • Put the grated ginger root into a teacup.
  • Pour the boiling water over the ginger and let it steep for five minutes.
  • Add honey to taste (optional).
  • Stir and enjoy your ginger tea!

Anna Rudel
San Jose Acupuncturist
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Using Acupuncture and Moxa to Turn Breech Babies

Using Acupuncture and Moxa to Turn Breech Babies

If a baby is in breech position in the United States, there is a high chance the mother may require a birth via cesarean section.

A breech position means that the baby is in any position other than head down at the end of pregnancy. This occurs with (about 3-4% of babies), which may limit the options a mother has to give birth.

Women who are told that their baby is in this position are often advised that a cesarean section is the best option for delivery.

However, if women are not prepared for this intervention, they may look to try something else before committing to a C-section.

Acupuncture texts often recommend moxibustion for breech presentation.

Moxibustion (Moxa) is an herb (Artemesia vulgaria) that has been compressed into a cigar-like stick. The moxa stick is then burned close to the outer corner of the little toe, stimulating the acupuncture point known as UB 67.

The exact mechanism of action is not known.

However, it has been suggested that it stimulates the production of prostaglandins and estrogen, which encourages the lining of the uterus to contract and stimulate fetal activity.

Seeking acupuncture care is a big decision for anyone, especially when you are pregnant.

At Lokahi Acupuncture, we want to support you in making the right choice for you and your family.

Here are some commonly asked questions:

How soon should I seek acupuncture and/or moxa?

Breech presentation is common before 28 weeks, and likelihood decreases as the pregnancy progresses. If your baby is bottom down at 32 weeks (7-15% of pregnancies), see your acupuncturist between 32-35 weeks.

Studies show that the quantity of moxa treatments you have is important to the outcome.

If your birth provider identifies a breech presentation at 35 weeks, then contact our office to discuss your case with an acupuncturist. We can walk you through your options so that you can decide the best course of action.

How often would I need treatment?

We usually recommend at least twice weekly for breech presentations. We also give our patients moxa homework between treatments since outcome is a function of the treatment duration and dosage.

It is also important to note that stress is often heightened at this time, and acupuncture can be very supportive in alleviating the symptoms associated with stress.

What is your approach at Lokahi Acupuncture?

Patients coming to us to help with breech presentations are usually experiencing additional symptoms such as stress, insomnia or backaches. Our approach focuses primarily on the breech, but also incorporates work on other presenting symptoms. If there is stress, we believe that working to mitigate that is instrumental in allowing the body to turn the fetus.

Is there anything else I can do?

Yes, there are plenty of things that can support you right now.

  • Check out Spinning Babies. This website is a fabulous resource. Use the positions and movements to help open up your body to allow for the movement of your baby.
  • Dance! Put on your favorite tunes and let the happy hormones course through your body. If your baby feels too low or heavy, then sit on a ball and move your hips to the music.
  • Swimming is another great movement that can support the body in making space for the baby to shift positions.
  • Consider chiropractic therapy. We can refer you to a fabulous practitioner who isspecifically trained in the Webster Technique in the Bay Area. Webster Technique is the specific chiropractic technique used to turn babies.
  • Contact us to set up a free consultation with one of our practitioners to learn about how we can help you during this time.

Anna Rudel
San Jose Acupuncturist
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