Breech Birth Information

Alternative methods of version include moxibustion, the Webster technique and breech tilt exercises.

Moxibustion is the process of applying burning herbs to certain acupuncture points on the body. Practitioners of naturopathic medicine, herbal and Eastern medicine or acupuncture may use this therapy. Once assessment of a breech presentation is made, the mother may be offered twice-weekly sessions. Although some research demonstrates effectiveness, when many studies are put together, no significant effect can be seen. As with many alternative or complementary therapies, there's a need for well-designed studies to evaluate moxibustion.

Chiropractors utilize the Webster technique, a chiropractic adjustment specifically for pregnant mothers, to facilitate uterine relaxation and spinal alignment. As soon as the breech is diagnosed, 3 to 10 adjustments may be needed over a two-to-three-week period of time. Success rates of 80 to 90 percent have been reported by chiropractic practitioners, but again, more study is needed to verify results.

Breech tilt or slant exercises have also been recommended, but studies either contradict each other or are not well enough designed to claim a consistent positive effect of the intervention. In this technique, the mother is asked to lie on her back with her hips raised on pillows or to lie on an ironing board at a 45-degree angle. Other interventions -- a flashlight between the legs, stimulating baby to turn to the sound of music -- have been tried but have not been subjected to rigorous study.

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