It’s the news that every expecting mama dreads, “Your baby is breech.” You can get overwhelmed, often not sure where to start with a breech presentation. Where do you start and what are factors that you should be aware of in breech presentation?
Your primary care provider, obstetrician or midwife, make recommendations based on your pregnancy. If medical consent is given, then external cephalic version techniques (ECVs) can be attempted and moxa may be used to help with breech.
If you are considering an ECV, moxibustion therapy can support the body for an ideal state to help baby turn. It’s best to do moxa 5-6 days prior to a scheduled ECV.
First time mothers that received moxa treatments starting at 33 weeks had a 75.4% cephalic presentation at 35 weeks versus the control group at 47.7%. And at delivery 75.4% with cephalic presentation compared to 62.3% in the control group.**
Moxa for Breech Presentation
Moxa (artemeisia mugwort) is a Chinese medicine used to warm the channels; I use it for mamas that want baby in optimal position for labor.
Moxa works by increasing cortisol levels for mama, thus creating more fetal movement in utero and relaxing the myometrium of the uterus to allow more flexibility and movement for the baby to turn.
Who is Moxa Not For?
The following list are red flags that are NOT appropriate conditions for moxa treatment.
- Recent vaginal bleeding
- Reduced fetal movement
- Placenta previa
- Known fetal abnormalities
When should I start Moxibustion?
Research shows that 33-34 weeks is an effective time to start treatment. Primigravidas (first time mothers) should start around this time as treatment takes a week to two weeks to help baby turn. Second time mothers can see results later in pregnancy due to the elasticity of the uterus.
If you are planning to have ECV (i.e spinning babies, chiropractic work, etc) you can start moxa 5-6 days prior to your treatment to create an optimal condition for baby to turn on it’s own.
Even mothers with babies not breech, yet not in an”ideal” position can use moxa to help baby reposition to present occipital anterior.
Can Moxa Cause Harm to Your Baby?
There was no difference in the moxibustion group of first time mothers and the control group (without moxa) with the bag of waters breaking, inducing early labor. No incidences of placenta detachment or premature birth were reported.**
What is Moxa Treatment Like?
Moxa sessions are scheduled for 45 minutes and include an intake, treatment and education on how to administer it at home. Moxa is warming and gets very hot. The area to be used is over the pinky toe on each side. Treatments will be done at home for 20 minutes each toe, for at least 10 days. Compliance for treatments must be done for the effectiveness.
** Cardini F, Weixin H (1998). “Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation”. Journal American Medical Association. 280:1580-1584.