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Moxibustion & Breech Baby: How It Works & What to Know

Interested in the possibility of naturally turning a breech baby? Explore the benefits of moxibustion and learn why a visit to a TCM clinic in Singapore could be worthwhile.

Women's Health


Published on 23 Aug 2023


By Thomson Team

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Welcoming a precious bundle of joy into the world is an incredibly joyous occasion filled with anticipation and excitement. However, did you know that about 3-5% of babies assume the breech position in the later stages of pregnancy? This occurrence, where the baby’s buttocks or feet are positioned to emerge first instead of the head, can raise concerns among expectant parents.

In Western medicine, turning a breech baby typically involves a procedure like an external cephalic version or, in some cases, preparing for a caesarean section. However, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a natural alternative — Moxibustion, a TCM practice that utilises heated mugwort to stimulate specific acupuncture points on the body might help in the process.

If you are interested in the possibility of naturally turning a breech baby, read on to discover the benefits of moxibustion and why a visit to a TCM clinic in Singapore could be worthwhile.

The Inner Workings of Moxibustion in Turning a Breech Baby

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Stimulates the bladder meridian

Moxibustion involves the targeted stimulation of specific acupuncture points on the body. In the case of turning a breech baby, a registered TCM physician will focus on the last point of the bladder meridian, known as BL67 or Zhiyin. Applying heat to this point through moxibustion brings movement to the kidney channel to encourage the baby to turn into a head-down position. This stimulation also activates energy flow along the meridian, promoting balance and harmonisation within the body for a smoother birth experience.

Influences maternal cortisol levels

Cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone, plays a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions. Studies have shown that moxibustion can help reduce maternal stress and anxiety levels, subsequently impacting cortisol production. As a result, this hormonal shift may lead to heightened foetal activity, potentially aiding in the process of the baby’s turning.

Impacts hormone release

From a Western medical perspective, the application of heat during moxibustion encourages the release of two specific hormones in pregnancy: placental oestrogen and prostaglandins. Placental oestrogen plays a vital role in preparing the body for childbirth, promoting the growth of the uterus and supporting the development of the baby. Prostaglandins, on the other hand, are known to have a stimulating effect on muscles, including those found in the uterus. The heat generated during moxibustion may trigger the release of these hormones, leading to mild uterine contractions and assisting the baby in moving into a head-down position, thus increasing the chances of vaginal birth.

Learn more: How TCM Promotes a Healthy Pregnancy & Helps Mothers Regain Vitality After Childbirth

Essential Considerations for Pregnant Women Considering Moxibustion

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Moxibustion is typically recommended around 34 weeks of pregnancy. At this stage, the baby is generally small enough to have room for turning and is sufficiently developed to stay in the head-down position. Consult a registered TCM physician to determine the most suitable time frame for moxibustion in your specific situation.

Seeking professional expertise

Moxibustion should always be performed by a trained and registered TCM physician or an experienced acupuncturist. Attempting to administer moxibustion on your own without proper knowledge and expertise can lead to potential risks, including burns and blisters. A qualified physician possesses the necessary skills to apply moxibustion safely and effectively, minimising any potential adverse effects.

Learn more: What to Expect at Your First TCM Clinic Visit

From Breech to Birth: Moxibustion’s Gentle Nudge

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Each pregnancy is unique and the suitability of moxibustion may vary depending on individual circumstances.

If you find yourself on the journey from breech to birth, consulting a TCM physician about your suitability for moxibustion may help to transform your birthing experience into one of serenity and joy.

Here at Thomson Chinese Medicine, a TCM clinic in Singapore, our physicians are dedicated to helping mothers embrace their pregnancy journey with confidence, tranquility, and peace of mind.

Experience the compassionate care we offer today. Get in touch with us!

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Thomson Chinese Medicine is a member of Thomson Medical Group.

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