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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