When labor begins, close to 97% of babies born assume the head-down position. The rest are mostly breech babies. There are many ways to encourage a breech baby to turn. Acupuncture, especially using moxibustion, which is the application of heat from burning the herb, Mugwort, is a non-invasive and safe method to help turn the breech baby. The success rate in studies from China is 80% and if treated before 32 weeks of pregnancy, it can be even higher.
Acupuncture and moxibustion is applied to only one point on the body to help turn a breech baby – Bladder 67, the last point on the Bladder channel. Bladder 67 point is on outside corner of the little toe on both feet, right next to the nail bed.
Moxibustion can be administered by the patient or a family member at home. Using a moxa stick, apply heat to the Bladder 67 point daily for 15-20 minutes for seven days. Take a two-day break. If the baby has not turned yet, continue with the moxa for another seven days. It is even more effective if the patient does the “knee to chest” position in conjunction with acupuncture/ moxa treatment.
To do the “knee to chest” position, get on your knees with your forearms in front of you on the floor so that your bottom sticks up in the air. Do not lie on your belly. Maintain this position for 15 minutes, twice a day. By positioning the body so that the head is lower, gravity encourages the baby’s head to “float” toward the fundus of the uterus, flex her chin onto her chest and start to turn under. Acupuncture treatments should be performed every other day for up to 2 weeks to assist with the process of turning the baby to the right position.