Turning Breech Babies with Acupuncture & Natural Therapies

If you’ve found your way to this website page, it’s because your baby is breech and you’ve suddenly learned something about your pregnancy that you didn’t expect, didn’t plan for and don’t know anything about. You probably have a million questions. Can I do anything to turn my baby? Are the techniques safe? What can I do to help my baby turn? How do I talk to my doctor about my options? Do I have to have a c-section? There’s much to learn in such a short period of time.

At Angela Bell Acupuncture, we are experts in working with breech presenting babies, having worked with hundreds of women, just like you, for over a decade. We will walk you though this unexpected time in your pregnancy and provide you with all the tools and information you need to help turn your baby and make confident decisions about your care.

Breech baby appointments in our office are more than just an acupuncture appointment. They are an informative session to having a breech baby.

Our goals are two-fold:
  • Teach you proven techniques which you can do at home so that you can make every effort to turn your baby
  • Provide you with all the information you need to make informed and confident choices that are best for you and your family

During an appointment we will:

  • Evaluate – gather information about your baby’s position, your preferences and priorities and your medical circumstances
  • Release – provide you with an acupuncture treatment to remove musculoskeletal restrictions that could be hindering the movement of the baby
  • Create Space – after your acupuncture treatment we’ll teach you the postural and positional techniques that create space in the uterus and those that can inhibit free movement of the baby
  • Gravity – show you how to use gravity to help your baby turn on his/her own
  • Burn moxa – if appropriate for your case, demonstrate the age old technique of burning moxa to encourage fetal movement
  • Resources – provide you with resources and information on how to talk to your doctor, advocate for yourself, and get emotional support. We’ll also provide you with resources in the event that your baby doesn’t turn, so that you can prepare for a loving, supported, healthy birth no matter the mode of delivery.

Your protocol will be tailored specifically to your situation after taking into consideration, current position of the baby, week of pregnancy, doctor recommendations (ECV, C-Section, etc), medical considerations (high blood pressure, Polyhydramnios, Oligohydramnios) and of course your preferences and priorities.

We use a variety of techniques. Your protocol may include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Moxibustion
  • Vinaver Method
  • Knee Chest Method
  • Other floor exercises
  • Postural recommendations

We want to provide you will options, information and techniques so that you can decide what the best action steps are for you and your family. Because of that we may also discuss:

  • External Cephalic Version (ECV) – with your doctor, of course
  • Planned C-Section
  • Family Centered C-Section
  • Vaginal Breech Birth
  • Support methods such as chiropractic, yoga & massage
  • Options for emotional support
  • Postpartum support
  • How to talk to your doctor
When should you begin treatment?

Most studies show that the highest success rates for turning breach babies, no matter the technique, occur between 34 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. While this may be true, the protocols we recommend are specific to your needs and are safe to begin at any stage. As mentioned above, our recommendations typically include postural recommendations, gentle floor exercises and acupuncture – all of which will benefit you not matter where you are in your pregnancy. Acupuncture is used to remove any muscular-skeletal restrictions which open up space in the uterus for the baby to move into optimal position and prepares your body for birth.
So if you’re concerned about your baby’s position, come in for a treatment. We’ll evaluate the particulars of your situation and walk you through the options and potential action steps.

It’s never too early or too late to begin. Many babies who are found to be breech will spontaneously turn on their own. One study found 57% of babies who were identified as breech between 25 and 26 weeks of pregnancy turned spontaneously. Another says 75% of babies are head down by 30 weeks (Breech Birth Research Paper). This is great news because it means most babies will find their way into a vertex position without an intervention at all.

The problem is, we don’t know which babies will turn on their own and which will fall into the 3 to 4% who are still breech at term. There is no harm, and I would argue many benefits, to practicing many of (though not necessarily all) the techniques we recommend throughout your pregnancy.

Is it too late?

The statistics show us that the later in the pregnancy you begin a specific treatment, whether it be moxa, ECV or knee chest method (the most heavily studied techniques), the lower the success rates. That doesn’t mean however, that babies don’t turn in late state pregnancy. I’ve known babies to turn in the last week of pregnancy and have had patients tell me stories of babies turning once labor begun. If you’re baby is still breech in the last few weeks of your pregnancy and you want to do everything you can to encourage him/her to turn, we’ll help you figure out the best protocol and get you started right away.

We want to be your breech resource. Please reach out to us should you have any questions at all. Otherwise, we look forward to meeting you and helping your baby turn!