Only baby can turn baby naturally, but acupuncture and moxibustion can help facilitate the optimal environment in mother for baby to move to a cephalic (head down) position. If you know baby is breeched, the optimal timing to contact your acupuncturist to begin treatment is at 34 weeks. In this window, baby is at a size that they can move to a cephalic position and then typically too large to put themselves back into a breeched position. After a course of treatment, if baby has not moved to a cephalic position, there is often an underlying reason, such as placenta previa, too much or too little amniotic fluid, or an abnormally shaped uterus. And even if baby does not turn and an ECV is needed, studies show that women having tried acupuncture prior to the ECV, experience less pain during the procedure than those who did not receive acupuncture.
In the first treatment, a thorough intake is taken reviewing your whole body’s systems, including your energy, mood, areas of pain or discomfort, digestion, sleep, and other concerns, to create your pattern diagnosis in Traditional Chinese Medicine. A collection of points to address the pattern are used during the acupuncture treatment in addition to a specific point on the 5th toes, BL67. Once the needles have been inserted, the acupuncturist will stay in the room with you to administer moxibustion, which is the burning of an herb, mugwort. At Selby Acupuncture, we hover a smokeless version of the herb over BL67 until it feels uncomfortably hot, then we switch to the other toe. This continues for about 20 minutes while we are also teaching you to do it at home. One key component of this therapy’s efficacy is the dosing: it has been found most effective to do moxibustion at home for 10 to 14 days in a row for 20 minutes each day while in an “all-fours” position so that baby can have more freedom to move. It is optimal to receive one or two more visits to further solidify the treatment results if baby has chosen to move into a cephalic position.
Acupuncture and additional treatments (like moxibustion) can address many women’s health care concerns, including pregnancy and postpartum. Come in and see us!
[written by Kennedy]