Originally published April 1 2009
Natural Options for Turning Breech Babies
by Sheryl Walters
(NaturalNews) About 4.5% of single baby pregnancies result in a breech (head up instead of head down) presentation. Breech presentations result in an increased number of Caesarean sections and an increase in perinatal mortality. Rarely are women who have breech babies allowed to attempt a vaginal birth. Because a C-section is a major abdominal surgery with associated risks and recovery time it is important to attempt to get the baby into a proper vertex (head down) position. An external cephalic version (an obstetrician manually attempting to turn the baby from the outside) is often attempted but can be very uncomfortable and poses its own risks. There are three other popular and effective alternatives available that do not carry the same risks and are much more comfortable.
The Webster Technique is a chiropractic technique that is helpful in allowing babies to get into a proper position. Many people know of it as a "breech turning technique" but it really is about balancing the joints and ligaments of the pelvis to allow the uterus, and therefore the baby, to be in a proper position. A chiropractor who is certified in the Webster Technique will evaluate the woman's sacrum for a subluxation (misalignment) and adjust as necessary. Next, the chiropractor will gently release any tension being held in the round ligaments of the uterus with a gentle pressure at any tight areas. The technique is very gentle and usually very comfortable.
Acupuncture is another option to use to help turn breech babies. Small, thin needles are placed in specific areas to facilitate the turning of the baby. Acupuncture treatments for turning breech babies are typically started between weeks 32 and 34 of pregnancy. Studies have shown that acupuncture alone has about a 70% success rate in turning a breech baby.
Moxibustion is a third option and is often used in conjunction with acupuncture. Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine practice which involves the use of burning a mugwort stick near a specific place on the pregnant woman's little toe. The moxibustion stimulation of this point (Bladder 67) helps to relax the uterine wall and increase fetal activity. Studies have shown it to have a success rate between 69% and 85%. Patients are often given these sticks to continue the treatment at home multiple times per day.
Other conservative and gentle options for turning a breech baby include pelvic tilts, placing a cold compress (such as a cold bag of peas) at the top of the stomach (fetuses are sensitive to cold too), and swimming.
International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association (www.icpa4kids.org)
Breech Babies: Breech Birth (http://www.pregnancy.com.au/breech_babies_br...)
Can Acupuncture Help to Turn a Breech Baby? (http://yinovacenter.com/blog/archives/714)
About the authorSheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner.
Her website www.younglivingguide.com provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous. You can also find some of the most powerful super foods on the planet including raw chocolate, purple corn, and many others.
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