Most babies will turn head down by 32 weeks gestation. However, if at your 32 weeks or 34 weeks check-up baby is not head down, your midwife will discuss a few options with you for you to consider and one of them is moxa treatment for breech turn.
What is moxa?
Moxibustion or moxa for short is a form of treatment which involves using the heat from a moxa stick. This cigar looking stick contains mugwort herb which has been compressed and shaped into a stick. The type of moxa stick commonly used in the practice is the smokeless type which is mugwort in a black charcoal stick.
When mugwort is burned in this way the heat it produces is extremely high allowing the mugwort oil which is volatile to enter the meridian and stimulate the acupuncture point. For breech turn, Bladder 67 also called Reaching Yin which is found at the corner of your pinky toe is stimulated with the heat from the moxa stick. When Bladder 67 is stimulated it stimulates the production of maternal hormones such as placental oestrogens and prostaglandin which in turn encourages the lining of the womb to contract which eventually encourages baby to move. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, stimulating Bladder 67 encourages the body to gently move into the yang phase and it is the yang that encourages baby to turn head down.
When considering moxa for breech turn the length, duration and frequency of treatment make all the difference. There are also some contraindications to consider as moxa treatment is not recommended in some cases. It is important to schedule an appointment where you will be properly assessed and get all the instructions on how to use moxa safely and all the extra information which often makes a difference.