‘Had my scan yesterday and the baby is head down and ready for the big day. Thanks again for your help’.
‘Hi Tyler! Thank you so much for the Moxa! He did his flip all by himself and now has his head engaged and set off early labour in the process. Thank you again!’
D. H, London
Hi Tyler – thanks very much for last week – Delphina felt much more in control of things – and it must have made a difference – as while they waited at the hospital Max turned round – so is now in the correct position’
Margaret, London. Breech baby
A baby will generally settle into a cephalic (head down) position by week 34 to 36 of pregnancy. If the baby is head up this is referred to as breech. This will affect the birth, leading in most instances to a planned caesarean, a blow if you have been planning a home birth or a birth with minimal medical intervention.
The turning of breech babies using moxibustion is an effective, non-invasive and natural method with high success rates. In an Italian Study, of 260 women having their 1st babies with breech presentations in the 33rd week, 130 women were treated with moxibustion to the acupuncture point Zhiyin UB67 for 7 days while 130 received no interventions. At 35 weeks, 75.4% of the babies in the moxibustion group turned head down, compared to 47.7% in the control group. Results also showed an increase in foetal activity. In another study of 505 women with breech presentations between 28 and 34 weeks, 81% of the babies in the moxibustion group turned, compared to 49% in the control group (a). This treatment is so successful that midwives now use it routinely in New Zealand and many midwives directly refer their patients to me here in the UK.
Moxibustion involves burning a fragrant herb over one acupuncture point on the little toe. This point strongly descends energy in Chinese Medicine and relaxes the uterus while stimulating the baby to turn. I also use minimal acupuncture to calm any anxiety. The therapy is very gentle and can also be used to flip babies who are in a posterior position (with their backs to your spine).
Ideally the treatment is given between 33 to 37 weeks, as the later you progress in the pregnancy the less room there is for the baby to turn. However, it can still be successful in later pregnancy. Once the baby has turned it is advisable to have acupuncture treatment to encourage the baby to descend.
The treatment course is 10 days but after the initial treatment I provide you with instructions and moxa sticks, plus other advice on turning the baby, for you to continue the treatment at home. It is useful to bring your partner to this 1st session so they can be taught how to use the moxa correctly and safely.
If you are referred for a ECV (external cephalic version) www.rcog.org.uk/files/rcog-corp/uploaded-files/PITurningECV0208.pdf, moxibustion treatment for 5 to 10 days may also positively affect the outcome of this procedure.
This treatment cannot be used if you have a twin pregnancy; placenta previa; high blood pressure or any uterine bleeding.
(a) Cardini F, Weixon H. (1998) ‘Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation’. Journal American Medical Association. 280:1580-1584