A baby will generally settle into a cephalic (head down) position by week 34/36 of pregnancy. When the baby is head up this is referred to as a breech position.
In Chinese Medicine a herb referred to as ‘moxa’ (botanical name artemesia vulgaris) is burned over an acupuncture point BL67 on the little toe. This helps to stimulate the baby to move whilst at the same time relaxing the uterine muscles, encouraging the baby to turn.
The initial moxibustion treatment is done in the acupuncturist’s clinic. This allows the practitioner to teach you, (and your birth partner if possible) how to do the treatment at home. The treatment is done twice a day for 10 consecutive days.
Learn more: moxibustion factsheet
This is a safe and effective way to encourage breech babies to turn. The ideal time to use moxibustion is week 34 to 37; however moxibustion on BL67 can be used up until full term.
Learn more: Research link
Moxa for breech cannot be used if there is: twin pregnancy, placenta previa, high blood pressure, any uterine bleeding.
Transverse lie and history of a breech presentation in a previous pregnancy may potentially be treated with moxa, but only with the supervision of a consultant obstetrician.
Your midwife or obstetrician may refer you for ECV (external cephalic version) which is done by a specialist consultant.
Learn more at www.rcog.org.uk/files/rcog-corp/uploaded-files/PITurningECV0208.pdf
It can be very beneficial to use the moxibustion for 5 to 10 consecutive days prior to ECV.