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Can Acupuncture & Moxibustion Help To Turn A Breech Baby?

Pregnancy can be complicated. Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies can help to make your pregnancy experience easier, and more enjoyable. If you're interested, you can learn more about Chinese Medicine treatments for Fertility and Pregnancy at Health Wise.

Global statistics show that up to 3 in 5 pregnancies may present in a breech (Non-Cephalic) manner between 33 and 38 weeks gestation.

Having a baby in a breech position can increase the risks of having a complication-free natural birth.

Babies that you cannot manually turn in the womb using physical methods and techniques leading up to the due date may be recommended for a cesarean section to reduce the risks that a breech presentation can pose in a natural delivery.

Health Wise has been helping patients for over 30 years. Our team at Health Wise wants to help you in your pregnancy journey, by making the experience easier and more enjoyable. We wrote this article in the hopes that it may be helpful to you. We'll take a look at using acupuncture & moxibustion during pregnancy to turn a baby in breech presentation and review the research surrounding this topic.

Stick around for the rest of the article!

Article Contents:

Day-to-Day Stress and Tension
Health Wise Pregnany Journey

What Is A Breech Presentation?

A breech presentation can fall under three categories, but essentially it means that the baby is laying in a way that does not promote a regular "Head First" natural delivery.

The three medically recognized breech positions are:

• Complete Breech- The baby has their feet tucked under the buttocks with bent knees, and the buttocks are over the birth canal.

• Frank Breech- The baby's feet are stretched to near the head, but the buttocks are over the birth canal.

• Footling Breech- The feet and legs are outstretched below the buttocks and will be born first.

A breech presentation can increase the risks of being referred to have a cesarean section for safety. However, if a natural birth were to go ahead, a breech birth would be complicated and increase the chances of bleeding, tears, excessive pain, and the possibility of death.

How Acupuncture & Moxibustion May Assist In Turning A Breech Baby

Acupuncture & Moxibustion are both Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies that may assist in the natural turning of a breech baby.

When the therapies are used in conjunction with one another, the complementary processes can improve the chances of a non-cephalic baby presentation at delivery, reducing the need for a cesarean section.

A research study found that the proportion of Cesarean sections indicated for the breech presentation was significantly lower in the treatment group than in the control group. The study concluded that acupuncture plus moxibustion is more effective in revolving fetuses in breech presentation.

Complementary therapies may improve the birth experience and turn away from unnecessary risks or surgical intervention.


Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medicine therapy that involves placing fine needles in specific acupoints, along meridians (energy lines) that are said to relieve some symptoms and conditions that medicine does not.

A systematic review has shown that undergoing acupuncture is safe during pregnancy when applied correctly. Our clinic has over 30 years of clinical experience helping patients. We specialize in fertility, and under the care of our experienced practitioners, you can be assured that you are in safe hands.

Acupuncture treatments can be beneficial within each stage of the trimester. In the first trimester, acupuncture can help to nourish the body and relieve symptoms relating to fatigue nausea, and heartburn. In later stages, acupuncture can assist with pain relief and reduce swelling that is associated with pregnancy. Finally, in the third trimester, Chinese medicine treatments can help prepare the body for labor and help to turn the baby from a breech position for a smooth experience during childbirth.


Chinese medicine treatments can be particularly effective in the third trimester to position the baby for smooth delivery.

Moxibustion, is also a Traditional Chinese Medicine therapy. It involves using heat therapy from the burning of "Moxa" (long sticks of mugwort herb) just above the skin's surface on similar acupressure points to acupuncture. The heat from the burning and the properties of the herbs themselves help to provide physical benefits.

Moxibustion can help to encourage breech babies to turn. In a research study, moxibustion treatments combined with postural techniques were found to result in fewer non-cephalic (breech position) presentations at birth compared with the postural technique alone.

Studies have shown that daily sessions of moxibustion (combined with acupuncture) can increase fetal activity and help turn the baby from a breech position to the optimal head-down position. As outlined in research published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Acupuncture plus moxibustion is more effective than observation in revolving fetuses in breech presentation. Such a method appears to be a valid option for women willing to experience a natural birth".

When Acupuncture and Moxibustion are used together to try and turn a baby that has a breech presentation, this randomized controlled clinical study shows promising data that significantly points to the combination of complementary therapies having a higher percentage of success in turning a non-cephalic baby, thus reducing the need for an elective cesarean section delivery.

The conclusion from recent studies is that the combination therapy of Acupuncture and Moxibustion can be effective in helping to turn a baby who is in a breech position.

It is a valid suggestion to mothers with breech babies to use as an option to turn their babies for a safer delivery with a reduction in excessive birth complications and the need for surgical intervention.

Health Wise has over 30 years of clinical experience helping patients. Our qualified practitioners are here to help you along your pregnancy journey and guide you through the experience by providing treatments that are catered to your unique pattern of symptoms. Contact us today for an appointment.


Learn More About Chinese Medicine

We hope you enjoyed this article. Here's another series of articles that we think that you may enjoy:

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