Breech Babies

Breech presentation occurs in roughly 4% of pregnancies at birth. Babies float and bob around in the amniotic fluid and as the pregnancy progresses, many turn head down before they grow out of space. This presents the smallest head diameter and the best fit through the birth canal. Baby’s head is able to sit snugly on the cervix which facilitates labour by stimulating more intense and regular contractions.

Having a breech baby is a natural variation of normal but it requires medical staff with expertise in delivering breech babies. The problem occurs if the umbilical cord manages to become trapped and compressed during labour creating a medical emergency.  A cesarean-section is often recommended or trying an external cephalic version (ECV)  beforehand. If the baby doesn’t turn, the thought of a vaginal birth may change to birth via caesarean section surgery with its recovery and ramifications for mother and baby.  A c-section can be a life saving operation however there is another option to turn breech babies cephalic which may give women an opportunity to give birth vaginally. 

Let’s explore how Chinese medicine approaches this…

Over the first two trimesters the pregnant body focuses on nourishing kidney yin.  This is a type of energy that is needed for the rapid development of the baby and the changes within the woman’s body that support pregnancy.  However, on entering the third trimester this focus shifts to nourishing kidney yang Qi.  This is energy needed to fuel birth.  This type of energy helps the baby move into a head down position and softens and opens the pelvic outlet as the baby descends through the birth canal.  When this energy is stuck or deficient, there is an increased risk of a breech baby. If you would like to know more about turning your baby please click on the link to see our free online webinar and the Turn My Baby program. Alternatively, contact us or book now for a clinic appointment.  If you would like to review the research please click on the links below.

Correction of Breech Presentation with Moxibustion and Acupuncture:

Acupuncture-type interventions (such as moxibustion and acupuncture) at Bladder 67 (BL67, Zhiyin point) have been proposed to have positive effects on breech presentation. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of moxibustion and acupuncture in correcting breech presentation. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Jian-An Liao 1, Shih-Chieh Shao 2,3,4, Chian-Ting Chang 2, Pony Yee-Chee Chai 2, Kok-Loon Owang 2,Tse-Hung Huang 1, Chung-Han Yang 4,5 , Tsai-Jen Lee 1 and Yung-Chih Chen 4,6,*


Effect of Stimulating the BL67 Point on Fetal Correction from Breech to Cephalic Presentation and Natural Delivery after the 36 Weeks of Pregnancy:

A Randomized Clinical Trial; 2020

Khatereh Sourani, Abolfazl Mohammadbeigi, Nasim Khademi, Azadeh Asgarian, Imaneh Khaki, Zohreh Ahmadi

Effect of acupressure at the BL67 spot on the spontaneous rotation of fetus with breech presentation

A randomized controlled trial; 2021
Azam Hamidzadeh, Zeinab Tavakol, Maryam Maleki, Sakineh Kolahdozan, Ahmad Khosravi, Mahdieh Kiani, Mojtaba Vaismoradi

Acupuncture plus moxibustion to resolve breech presentation

A randomized controlled study; 2003
I Neri,G Airola,G Contu,G Allais,F Facchinetti &C Benedetto

Effectiveness and Safety of Acupuncture and Moxibustion in Pregnant Women with Noncephalic Presentation

An Overview of Systematic Reviews; 2019

Maite Miranda-Garcia, Cristina Domingo Go ́mez, Cristina Molinet-Coll, Betina Nishishinya, Ikram Allaoui, M. Dolores Go ́mez Roig, and Josefina Goberna-Tricas

New Zealand Guidelines Group

Antenatal Care of Women With a Breech Presentation: 2004

Breech presentation and moxibustion: should it be offered to improve maternal outcomes?

A review of research articles published in English between July 2010 and July 2020; published 2021

Claudia Dalcin Zanchin 

Turning Foetal Breech Presentation at 32-35 Weeks of Gestational Age by Acupuncture and Moxibustion

A Case Series of  93 women using moxbustion to turn breech babies. 2019; Paolo Brici, Giovanna Franconi, Cristina Scatassa, Elisabetta Fabbri, and Paolo Assirelli

Breech birth

Reviewing the evidence for external cephalic version and moxibustion

Royal College of Midwives.  Evidence Based Midwifery, 2008

Mary Steen and Carol Kingdon 

Cephalic version by moxibustion for breech presentation (Review)

A Review to examine the effectiveness and safety of moxibustion on changing the presentation of an unborn baby in the breech position, the need for external cephalic version (ECV), mode of birth, and perinatal morbidity and mortality for breech presentation. Coyle ME, Smith CA, Peat B 2012

Cost-effectiveness of breech version by acupuncture-type interventions on BL 67, including moxibustion, for women with a breech foetus at 33 weeks gestation

To assess, using a modelling approach, the effectiveness and costs of breech version with acupuncture-type interventions on BL67 (BVA-T), including moxibustion, compared to expectant management for women with a foetal breech presentation at 33 weeks gestation. 

Ineke van den Berg 1, Guido C Kaandorp, Johanna L Bosch, Johannes J Duvekot, Lidia R Arends, M G Myriam Hunink

Cost effectiveness of using moxibustion to correct non-vertex presentationoetus at 33 weeks gestation

To analyse the cost effectiveness of using the moxibustion technique to correct non-vertex presentation and to reduce the number of caesarean sections performed at term.

Leticia García-Mochón 1, José J Martín 2, José Manuel Aranda-Regules 3, Francisco Rivas-Ruiz 4, Jorge Vas 5

Effect of acupressure at the BL67 spot on the spontaneous rotation of fetus with breech presentation: A randomized controlled trial

Breech is a common fetal presentation in preterm pregnancies. This study aimed to investigate the effect of acupressure at the BL67 point on the spontaneous rotation of fetus with breech presentation.

Azam Hamidzadeh 1, Zeinab Tavakol 2, Maryam Maleki 3, Sakineh Kolahdozan 4, Ahmad Khosravi 5, Mahdieh Kiani 6, Mojtaba Vaismoradi 7

girl with pregnant mom

Want to know more?

Learn about our Turn My Baby program, we are pleased that we now have a 87% success rate for turning breech babies.