Moxabustion for Breech Baby

Acupuncture, Fertility, Pregnancy + Post Natal Care

Babies lying bottom first or feet first in the uterus instead of in the usual head-down position are called breech babies. Breech is common in early pregnancy, and by 36-37 weeks of pregnancy, most babies turn naturally into the head-down position. If your baby remains breech, it does not usually mean that you or your baby have any problems and if attempts to turn your baby into the head down position have not succeeded, your birth options are either an elective caesarian or a planned vaginal breech birth.

How Moxabustion May Help

Generally, moxibustion is used to warm areas of the body with the intention of stimulating circulation and lymphatic flow. It also helps to smooth the flow of Qi and blood and expel pathogenic influences. The scent of moxa is very distinct and many people find it to have a therapeutic and relaxing aroma.

Specifically moxibustion utilizes an herb (Artemesia vulgaria) placed close to the skin of the fifth toes of both feet. The smoke is applie to a traditional acupuncture point called Bladder 67.


The exclusion criteria apply for those women with the following conditions:

1. Placenta previa.

2. History of ante-partum haemorrhage.

3. Multiple pregnancy.

4. Known abnormality of the uterus or pelvis.

5. History of premature labour or premature ruptured membranes.

6. Previous Caesarean section if more recent than 2 years.

7. Oligohydramnios.

8. Rhesus antibodies.

9. Known hydrocephalic fetus.

So Does Moxabustion Work?

  • Evidence suggests that moxibustion – when combined with either acupuncture or postural techniques – is safe and increases your chances of turning a breech baby
  • We still don’t know for sure which kind of moxibustion method (timing during pregnancy, number of sessions, length of sessions, etc.) works best for turning breech babies. However it appears that using moxibustion twice per day for two weeks (during 33-35 weeks of pregnancy) will work for 1 out of every 8 women.

Moxabustion at West End Women’s Health

If you interested in using Chinese medicine (moxibustion and acupuncture) to help turn a breech baby, you can consult with our registered acupuncturist who has special training in this specific procdeure.  We would be happy to see if this techinuque is suitable for you and your pregnancy.


  • Cardini F. & Weixin H. (1998). Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA 280(18), 1580-1584. Free full text:
  • Coyle ME, Smith CA, & Peat B. 2012. Cephalic version by moxibustion for breech presentation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 5. Art. No: CD003928.
  • Vas J, Aranda-Regules JM, Modesto M, et al. (2013). Acupuncture Medicine 31: 31-38.

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