The majority of babies will move into a head-down delivery position a few weeks prior to birth, with the head moving closer to the birth canal. This usually happens between weeks 30-32, with most practitioners expecting babies to be heads-down by 34 weeks.
When this fails to happen, we call this a breech presentation – the baby’s buttocks and/or feet will be positioned to deliver first. Breech presentation occurs in approximately 3-4% of full-term babies and can pose a risk during delivery, therefore most breech babies are delivered via C-Section.
Acupuncture and moxibustion is often used at our clinic to help prevent a breech presentation as well as to help a baby in breech position turn head down. This is best done between weeks 29-36. The effectiveness of acupuncture and moxibustion decreases after 36 weeks, this is because the baby is larger and has less room to move at this stage.
Studies Show Acupuncture & Moxibustion Can Help With Breech Presentation
A 2004 study published in The Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine studied 240 women at 33-35 weeks gestation carrying a baby in breech presentation. Half of the women received acupuncture plus moxibustion, compared with the other half in the observation group who received no acupuncture or moxibustion treatments.
- At delivery only 36.7% of the babies from the observation group who received NO acupuncture or moxibustion turned head-down, compared with 53.6% of the babies turning head-down in the acupuncture and moxibustion group.
- Study concludes that acupuncture plus moxibustion is more effective than no treatments in revolving fetuses in breech presentation, therefore acupuncture and moxibustion is a valid option for women with breech presentation.
You can view the study here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15280133