Remember at your wedding when your peeps got down and dirty to Shout? (I mean, let’s be honest, what is a wedding without this epic get-down?!)
Well that catchy tune strums through my head whenever we have a mama-to-be walk into our acupuncture clinic Aphrodite Fertility with her breech baby diagnosis.
Well, shake it up, baby, now
Twist and shout
Come on, come on, come, come on, baby, now
Come on and work it on out!
And work it out we do – with the magical power of Moxibustion, aka “Moxa” in the TCM industry.
Traditional Chinese Medicine offers an amazing trick to getting that baby to turn through an age-old technique known as moxibustion. Regular use of moxa at home, combined with prenatal acupuncture can encourage the turning of a breech baby, ensuring safety and efficacy.
Understanding Moxibustion and Its Role in Pregnancy
Moxibustion is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique that involves burning a herb called mugwort near specific acupuncture points on the body. In the context of pregnancy, moxibustion has been used to turn breech babies into the correct position for birth for thousands of years, long before Western Medical interventions like ECVs (External cephalic version).
The technique focuses on the acupuncture point BL67, located at the outer tip of the fifth toe, right at the nail bed. According to traditional beliefs, stimulating this point with the heat and energetic properties of Moxa encourages the baby to move, ideally turning into the head-down position ready for birth.
How to Safely Practice Moxibustion at Home for Breech Babies
While moxibustion can be performed by a trained acupuncturist, many pregnant women can adapt the practice at home to increase frequency of treatment, often with the help of a partner. (Before attempting moxibustion, it’s crucial to consult with your acupuncturist to ensure it’s safe for you and your baby.)
Step-by-Step Guide to Moxibustion at Home:
- Prepare Your Space: Choose a calm, comfortable, and well-ventilated area to practice. Take two text books or heavy chapter books and place them at the outer edges where your feet will lie.
- Gather Materials: You will need two smokeless Moxa sticks, which are made from dried mugwort. These are available at your local acupuncture studio or online via Amazon. If you purchase regular (not smokeless) Moxa, you will certainly be setting off your smoke alarms.
- Locate the Point: Identify the BL67 point at the outer corner of the nail on your little toe.
- Light the Moxa Stick: Use a butane lighter to light one end of the Moxa stick evenly until it smolders, producing a therapeutic heat ( this may take up to 4 minutes). BE SURE to scrape any ash off the tip into a metal bowl before beginning.
- Apply the Heat: Tuck each moxa stick into the book so that the heated end sticks out. Place a metal dish under each stick so as to catch the ash as it falls. Place your feet close enough to the sticks to feel the heat on your pinky toe. Note that if the Moxa touches your skin it will burn you! So have your partner help in the setup. You should feel warmth, but not discomfort or pain.
- Duration: Continue the heat application for 10-15 minutes on each foot, twice daily.
- Never leave the moxa stick unattended while it’s burning.
- Ensure the heated end of the moxa stick does not touch the skin directly, as it will burn you.
- If you feel any discomfort or pain, stop the procedure immediately.
- To stamp out the moxa, place it into a bowl of rice or candle snuffer.
If this sounds too complicated, set up an appointment with your local acupuncturist and they will help get you used to the setup.
Success Stories and Medical Insights on Moxibustion for Breech Turn
There are numerous accounts of women who have successfully turned their breech babies using moxibustion. We, at Aphrodite Fertility Acupuncture, had two women this just this week, both in their 36th week of pregnancy, successfully turn breech positioning with acupuncture and at home moxibustion therapy. These success stories provide encouragement to others facing the possibility of scheduled C-section due to breech baby positioning.
So Come on, come on, come, come on, baby, now. Work breech positioning out with Moxibustion. It offers a non-invasive option for trying to turn a breech baby. It’s a practice steeped in tradition, backed by some promising studies, and filled with positive anecdotes.
Are you local to San Diego and looking to turn your breech baby? Book a Pregnancy Acupuncture treatment with us here.