Turning Breech Babies Safely with Acupuncture
Helping breech babies turn is one of my favorite parts of my job. I use a three-prong approach of combining acupuncture, moxabustion and positional release postures. It’s incredibility effective, safe and non-invasive.
This protocol is most effective when done between weeks 34 and 38.
I begin the protocol by needling specific acupuncture points in the back, arms, hands, legs and feet to open pelvic joints and release tension in the sacrum, uterine ligaments and related muscles. These types of restrictions in the body can actually prevent the baby from moving into a head-down position. Once restrictions in energy and movement are removed, the pelvic bowl and uterus relax, allowing more room for the baby to move into place.
Next, I use the time-tested Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique of burning moxa (a Chinese herb) to stimulate a very specific point on the outer edge of the baby toe, BL67. Stimulation of this specific point for turning breech babies has been used successfully in China for hundreds of years and has been studied and validated in several modern-day randomized controlled trials. Moxa can be applied directly to the point or the point can be stimulated using a moxa stick which is held close to the skin. Burning moxa to stimulate BL67 encourages the baby to move. In fact, most women will report an increase in fetal movement immediately during the treatment.
To enhance the treatment, I have moxa sticks available and will teach you how to apply moxa at home so you can continue the treatment on your own over a period of several days.
I will also teach you several postures that open up the uterus and give babies more room to adjust their position. Even just the slightest change in available space can make the difference for a baby who needs to turn.
The exercises I recommend come directly from Midwife, Gail Tully’s teachings. She describes these exercises and many more in detail at her website, www.spinningbabies.com. Gail is a pioneer in the field of balancing the mother’s body to help the baby get into the proper position. These positions are simple but powerful tools to help the baby get into optimal fetal position. My favorite two positions are the Forward Leaning Inversion and the Breech Tilt. Both positions actually help shift babies out of the pelvis, while gravity encourages babies to tuck their chins and flip.
I have used the combination of these techniques to help babies turn, time and time again. They work by removing restrictions in the body, stimulating movement in the baby and creating space in the uterus. Combined, these methods give babies every opportunity to move into optimal fetal position, potentially avoiding an otherwise unnecessary C-section.