Chinese Medicine, in particular Moxibustion, may be quite helpful in encouraging breech or posterior babies to reposition. Around weeks 34 to 36, it is expected that baby will settle into a head down position in the pelvis, with its chin tucked in and the back of the head and spine aligned toward the mother’s abdomen ready for action. Unfortunately, not all babies fall in with the status quo. Malposition of the fetus involves the baby’s head presenting into the pelvis, however either the back of the head is facing the mother’s spine or the chin is not tucked in. This can contribute to longer and less efficient labour, as well as increased back pain for the mother as the baby’s spine is pressed against her own.
Malpresentation is when the baby has a body part other than the head in the pelvic outlet. This could be a breech presentation, with the baby’s bottom presenting and the head at the top of the uterus, or it could be a brow, face or shoulder presentation.
If a baby is presenting in breech position, Traditional Chinese Medicine can be utilised to encourage baby to turn and remain in the best possible position for birth. Moxibustion is employed for a course of 10 days, with the mother being being provided with all she needs at her clinic visit to carry this out at home. The best results for turning a breech baby using moxibustion are achieved around week 34, and although results can still be attained later in the pregnancy, getting in sooner than later will always increase success rates. It is actually safe to start working on ensuring best position for delivery from 30 weeks if the position of the baby’s feet gives rise for concern.
Knowledge of acupressure points that can encourage baby to turn, as well as positions and activities that can assist this process are invaluable knowledge for mothers and their birth partners leading into labour. Come in for a consultation to learn more, or better still, join myself and prenatal yoga instructor, Esther McVicars of Free2beYoga (Murwillumbah and Cabarita), at our Birthing Babies Workshop, held quarterly in Cabarita.