Acupuncture – Breech pregnancy


Breech presentation means that the baby’s bottom is the presenting part into the pelvic outlet. A correct knowledge of the presenting part is important for planning a suitable labour or options for an attempt to correct the foetal position prior to delivery.

Moxibustion is recommended to be applied over specific acupuncture points for correcting the breech presentation. The mechanism increases adrenocortical stimulation resulting in increases in placental oestrogens and changes in prostaglandin levels, raises basal tone and enhances uterine contractility, stimulating fatal motility and thus making version (i.e. making correct position) more likely. This hypothetical mechanism was tested as a trial by the Cooperative Research Group of MoxibustionVersion of Jangxi Province (1980). Studies (1984) from the same Research Group looking at the optimum time for turning breech showed that the most efficient time is at 34 weeks into pregnancy. However if a breech position is persistent at 28, 30 and 32 weeks pregnancy, the chances to maintain the position is increasing. My recommendation is to start moxibustion immediately rather than to wait until 34 weeks of the pregnancy.

During the consultation, moxibustion is carried out together with acupuncture treatment to enhance the chances of changing the baby’s position. The woman or her partner will also be taught how to carry out the procedure and two moxa sticks will be given to the woman after the appointment is completed. Moxibustion is only recommended for low risk pregnancy.

I found out that my baby presented as breech, I was just coming up to 30 weeks and my midwife recommended Elaine to me for acupuncture and moxibustion. My midwife said to start this at around 34 weeks but I phoned Elaine anyway to arrange an appointment and she asked me to come in. I explained that I had a scan in three days time and she did a combo of acupuncture and moxibustion. Elaine taught me how to do it at home so I did twice a day and when I went for my scan the baby had turned. I was so pleased. I’m now continuing with acupuncture and I am really noticing the benefits. I am sleeping better which is such a relief and I feel better in myself,a lot more relaxed and I look forward to my weekly appointments.

Harmit from Taplow

I contacted Elaine when I was 37 weeks pregnant and had just found out that my baby was in breech position. I found her details on the Internet.
Elaine was very supportive from the outset, calling me back very quickly and discussing my personal situation. She wanted to ensure that moxibustion was worth trying for me.
I had 3 sessions of moxibustion with Elaine. The first session included an acupuncture treatment and the moxibustion. The last two sessions were purely moxibustion plus exercise.
During these sessions she went into detail about how moxibustion worked and how best to carry it out to ensure that I was very comfortable doing the moxibustion myself at home between our sessions. Elaine advised of exercises that I should do to encourage the baby to move. I did these exercises at home and during our sessions.
She gave me the confidence to carry out the moxibustion myself at home, explaining how it should be done by someone else or positions that I could use if I were to do it myself. I found the experience both with Elaine and doing it myself very relaxing.
One week later I was back at the hospital for my appointment to try & turn my baby. I was delighted to find out, at the pre scan, that my baby had moved into the correct position so the ECV(external cephalon version) wasn’t required.
Unfortunately my baby moved into a transverse position during labour so I did end up having a c-section. Baby was head down though at the start of my labour. I’m very pleased that I used moxibustion as I feel that I did everything I could to try and have a natural birth.
I would recommend Elaine to anyone thinking of trying the procedure. She is incredibly knowledgeable about it and the fact that she is a midwife and acupuncturist and that she is so caring meant that I trusted her through the process 100%.

Julie from Maidenhead

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