Acupuncture has been used for centuries to flip stubborn babies that are not in the preferred position.
There are different classifications as to how a baby can be in the breech position.
Frank Breech – buttocks are down and legs go straight up.
Complete Breech – baby is sitting cross-legged.
Footling Breech – either one or two feet down.
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Breech in Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine theory, when the baby is not in the correct position, it is due to blockages of energy.
Acupuncture is used to rebalance the energies of the body and remove any blockages.
Factors that can cause imbalance that will lead to the breech position include:
Too much cold food can cause cold in the uterus which contracts and causes blockages.
A diet lacking in the proper nutrition will not give the body enough strength and energy leading to deficiency
Stress and fear will lead to blockages of the energy
Exposure to wind, cold and dampness will lead to blockages and invasion of the wind, cold and damp.
At TCM Woman treatment for breech babies begins with:
- Consultation: Health history with questions, looking at your tongue and taking your pulse. This determines what is out of balance according to Chinese Medical theory and will show how the imbalance is contributing to the mal position of the fetus.
- Acupuncture treatment to address the imbalance and stimulate the baby to become active and move into an optimal position.
Demonstration of how to use the “moxibustion” stick at home which consists of holding a burning herbal cigar over the toe which stimulates a certain acupuncture point. The home treatment would be done daily for 20 minutes for 10 days (follow up by email or telephone after that).
- Address any questions and concerns.
The breech treatment is most effective when started on or before 34 weeks, but may also be effective as late as 38 or 39 weeks. The earlier the better, so the baby has more room to move.
By 36 weeks, 50% of babies will have turned spontaneously. Some women prefer to wait until this time to begin any treatments to try to turn the baby, but this is past the optimal time to begin the moxibustion treatment.
In a study published in China a group of 505 women with breech presentations with the gestational range of 28-34 were used. 241 women in a group that used moxibustion for seven days and 264 women acted as a control group. 81% of the babies in the moxibustion group turned, compared to 49% of the babies in the control group.
In another study published in the Journal of American Association (JAMA), a group of 260 women all with breech presentation, all with their first pregnancy and all at 33 weeks gestation were split into two groups. One group received moxibustion treatments daily while the other group received no intervention. At 35 weeks, 75.4% in the moxibustion group had moved into the normal head down position compared to 47.7% in the group that received no treatment. A greater number of fetal movements were also felt by the moxibustion group.
In conclusion, moxibustion treatment for breech presentation is an effective treatment.
Only one acupuncture treatment is needed, the rest is done at home by you with the daily moxibustion. Although further treatment with acupuncture has many other benefits.