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Acupuncture to Turn a Breech Position Foetus

Finding out that your baby is in breech position can be a source of distress to future parents.  Many parents in this situation weigh up the risks involved in choosing to have manual procedure to turn their baby.  There are also many non-conventional methods that many parents turn to including scrubbing the floor on the hands and knees, and lying head down on a slanted surface.  Traditional Chinese Medicine offers a well-tested and effective method via acupuncture, or more specifically moxibustion.

What is moxibustion?

Moxibustion is a term that refers to burning a specific herb (Chinese mugwort or moxa) over particular acupuncture points. Most forms of moxibustion do not burn the skin and create a pleasant, warm sensation around the acupuncture point.  Moxibustion is used to stimulate, warm and create movement with the acupuncture channels connected to an acupuncture point.  There are several different types of moxa and the ones we usually recommend are smokeless for at home use.

Moxibustion for breech presentation

The best time to seek acupuncture assistance for breech presentation is at 34 gestational weeks.  Although, we have seen patients get good results after this time. 

An acupuncturist that is trained in pregnancy support will be able to use some Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnostic techniques to identify a reason for why your baby is in breech presentation. 

You will be recommended some acupuncture to support your body and taught an easy and pleasant moxibustion technique to do at home for a period of one to two weeks, depending on how quickly your baby responds.  Most women feel that their baby is quite active during the treatment.  A similar treatment is also done for babies in a posterior position.

A study was conducted of 260 women presenting with breech position foetuses at 33 weeks.  Half of the women were given moxibustion treatment for 1 week, then assessed, if no change they continued the moxibustion for another 7 days.  The control group received no treatment.  By 35 weeks 75.4% of babies were in a cephalic position compared to the control group at 47.7%. Cardini F, Weixin H (1998) "Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation". Journal of American Medical Association. 280:1580-1584

 

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