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Breech Babies

Breech babies are ideally treated between 34 - 36 weeks with moxibustion. This is often a one-off treatment with patients given clear instructions so that the treatment can be continued at home for a total of 10 days by which time the baby should have turned into the correct position.

The Research

Breech Babies ResearchCardini et al (1998) studied 260 pregnant women at 33 weeks gestation who received either moxibustion or routine care but with no interventions. Those receiving moxibustion had more foetal activity and a higher number had turned into the correct position after the treatment and at delivery (click here for the full text article).

Breech Babies ResearchIn a trial by Vas et al (2013), 406 pregnant women with a foetus in breech at 33-35 weeks either had moxibustion, moxibustion at a non-specific acupoint ('sham moxibustion') or usual care alone. 58.1% of the moxibustion group had a baby in the correct position at full term compared to 43.4% in the sham group and 44.8% in the usual care group (click here for the full text article).

Breech Babies ResearchVan den Berg et al (2010) used a modelling approach to assess the effectiveness and costs of breech version with moxibustion compared to the usual management of a woman with breech presentation at 33 weeks. They found that offering moxibustion to women with a breech foetus at 33 weeks reduces the number of breech presentations at term, thus reducing the number of caesarean sections, and is cost-effective compared to expectant management, including external cephalic version (click here for the abstract).

The References

Cardini et al. Moxibustion for Correction of Breech Presentation - A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA 1998;280(18):1580-1584

Vas J, et al. Using moxibustion in primary healthcare to correct non-vertex presentation: a multicentre randomised controlled trial. Acupunct Med 2013;31:31-38

van den Berg I, Kaandorp G, Bosch J, Duvekot J, Arends L, Hununk M. Cost-effectiveness of breech version by acupuncture-type interventions on BL 67, including moxibustion, for women with a breech foetus at 33 weeks gestation: a modelling approach. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 2010;18, 67—77