Breech Presentation and Moxabustion

In one out of every six pregnancies, the baby turns into the breech, or upright, position. There are several different variations of breech. The baby may have its feet flexed or its legs extended and raised up towards its face, or its knees may be folded up near its chest. In some cases, a foot may be extended downwards.

While in most cases, there is no obvious causes for for a breech, but it may be due to a low-lying placenta, premature birth, a multiple pregnancy, polyhydramnios, hydrocephalus, fibroids or an unusually shaped uterus.

If a breech presentation is diagnoses around thirty-two weeks, there is still a chance that the baby will turn spontaneously during the next two weeks. After thirty-two weeks, however, there are ways to correct the position so that a mother may avoid delivering via cesaerean section.

Acupuncture and moxibustion can successfully turn the baby back into cephalad (head-down) position. In some cases, as little as a single treatment can turn the baby.

Moxa is a plant used as a heat source to stimulate acupuncture points, and in addition to its use in the office, you may be sent home with a moxa stick and instructions on how to continue treatment. The greatest success rates are for 32-35 weeks, but the treatment can be effective as late as 38 weeks in some cases. Still, a mother should always check with her midwife or doctor to insure that the baby should be turned. In some instances, such as twin pregnancies or a history of previous breech births or cesaerean section deliveries, the baby should not be turned.

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