How Effective Are Acupuncture & Moxibustion For Turning Breech Babies?
11 Aug 2016
Around 4 out of 100 babies stay in breech (bottom-down) position even during the last stage of pregnancy. Expectant mothers with the breech positioning problem have very limited options to choose from, Cesarean delivery being the most commonly preferred one. There are, nevertheless, a few natural ways to turn babies who are bottom-down inside the womb, such as the external cephalic version (EVC). However, some medical experts in Australia speak of another solution which can be very effective for ensuring a normal delivery - a conjunctional therapy of acupuncture and moxibustion.
Both acupuncture and moxibustion are modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine, an ancient system of alternative treatment methods that originated in Asia more than 2000 years ago. While the former is performed by inserting tiny sterilised needles at specific points on the body, the latter method involves burning of moxa sticks made from a herb known as Artemesia vulgaris close to certain acupoints. According to women’s health experts offering pregnancy care in Northern Beaches, acupuncture and moxibustion for turning a breech baby should be started from the 28th week of gestation period and continued till the 37th week.
Conventionally, moxibustion for resolving the issue of breech positioning is performed on a pair of acupuncture points known as Bladder 67, which are located on the fifth toe of both feet. The moxa sticks are burned near these points for at least 15 minutes about 1 to 10 times every day.
Moxibustion at acupoints works by stimulating heat receptors present under the skin. This results in production of prostaglandins and placental estrogen that trigger uterine contractions. The contractions, in turn, help the baby inside the womb to move into the correct delivery position.
In order to prove efficacy of the TCM modalities for turning breech babies, several studies have been conducted in the past. It was found that moxibustion when used in conjunction with acupuncture and postural techniques is practically safe and can hike up the chances of turning a baby from breech position. However, the treatment should be administered only by a licensed practitioner. There may be some mild side effects such as abdominal pain due to contractions and short-term nausea, but their severity depends on how skilfully the therapies are performed.
If you are an expectant mother with breech positioning problem, contact Dr. Robert Bradford at Northside Acupuncture.
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