Turning a Breech Baby

Breech Baby 👶

So, you are 7.5 months pregnant. At this stage of the expectation is that the baby will have made its way into position, head-down bum up by now.

Well there’s going to be a few babies out there that didn’t get the memo. Perhaps they are just super comfy where they are or there is some reason why they can’t. If you find out that you are one of the lucky mums with a baby that wants to hang out feet first don’t panic.

Breech presentation can be one of three different positions:
Full (flexed) Breech – Think yoga - bubs is sitting cross legged over cervix
Footling Breech – Bubs is feet first with one or both feet over cervix ready to pin drop into the world
Frank Breech – Bum first and feet up near its head

Acupuncture is excellent for labour preparation and at encouraging the body and baby into the optimal position for birth. As always in Traditional Chinese Medicine we seek to find the root cause for a problem. It is important to assess any disturbances or imbalances in the mother’s system. Treatments are given to encourage optimal function of the organs and Qi by use of acupuncture. In addition, for breech presentation a technique called moxibustion alongside acupuncture is used.

Moxibustion (also called moxa) is the application of heat to stimulate specific acupuncture points by using a burning medicinal dried herb called mugwort. Don’t stress, this is not painful! The herb is smouldering, and the heat applied is a gentle warmth. Moxibustion is a pleasant experience and generally performed in combination with acupuncture sessions leading up to a woman’s due date specifically around 34- or 35-weeks’ gestation. Because moxa therapy is quite easy to perform it is also something that can be done outside of the clinic and it is usually the case that you will be given some moxa to continue to use at home. Moxa is generally applied once or twice a day until the baby has moved into the correct position. Once babies are head down, they typically stay that way so once we know the baby has turned, we stop applying moxa.

So, it all seems a bit odd I’m sure and I’m guessing you would really like to know the Traditional Chinese Medicine theory behind moxibustion for breech babies?

The point that is activated is Bladder 67. This point lies at the outer edge of the little toe. The heat stimulation from the moxa encourages the baby to move as Bladder 67 connects to the uterus through an internal pathway. The heat of the moxibustion stimulates the movement of Qi through the channel to the uterus encouraging the baby to shift on its own into the desired position.

It is believed that this technique increases maternal cortisol levels that increase foetal movement and promote relaxation of the uterus muscle so that the baby has more space to move. Certainly, babies seem very active during moxibustion.

If bubs is not quite sure which way is out give Cathy a call on 0409 477501 and come in for an appointment. Yin Studio will do its best to get everything headed in the right direction!