Acupuncture for turning breech babies
Around the 34th-36th week of pregnancy your baby should settle into a left or right occipital anterior position (head into the pelvis with their spine against your abdomen). However there are various other positions they may settle into.
Malposition - baby’s head is in the pelvis but not in the optimum position i.e. spine on spine.
Malpresentation – another body part other than the head presents into the pelvis.
1) Full breech - baby is sitting cross-legged over the cervix.
2) Frank breech - baby’s toes are positioned up against the face.
3) Footling breech - one or both of the feet are sitting directly above the cervix.
Posture advice, exercises and medical intervention can be given to help a baby reposition itself. However, some mothers prefer a less invasive approach. Depending on the outcome, the ultimate position of the baby and the health of the mother, caesarean sections can sometimes be the safest way to deliver.
The fundamentals of Chinese medicine revolve around Yin and Yang. Yin considered inward, cold, quiet and slow; Yang considered outward, hot, loud and active. Therefore, pregnancy is a Yin process, growing and nurturing quietly inside of you. However as birth approaches, Yang should develop to prepare the body for the intense activity of birth. If there is insufficient Yang activity in the uterus, Yang must be stimulated.
Moxibustion, a type of Chinese medicine involving burning a herb close to the skin, may be helpful in turning a breech baby when applied to the side of the little toe. The last point on a Yang channel is very dynamic. Research suggests moxa on this point may stimulate the production of hormones, such as placental oestrogens and prostaglandins, which could stimulate foetal activity.
This treatment lasts 20 minutes, and should be carried out once a day for 10 days between weeks 34-36. Moxa may also be useful for women preparing to undergo external cephalic version (ECV), potentially showing higher success rates if used at least 5 days in advance.
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