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  • Writer's pictureKirstie Broughton

Moxibustion and breech babies

Do you know what moxibustion is? If you’re pregnant with a breech baby I suggest you reading on!

Did you know that you don’t have to opt for a caesarean birth for a breech baby if you don’t want one?

What are my options if I’m pregnant with a breech baby?

A lot of people think they HAVE to have a caesarean birth if their baby is in the breech presentation after 3 weeks of pregnancy. This is not the case at all. There are a lot of options open to you.

During my Breech Choices & Moxibustion workshop we will discuss breech vaginal birth, external cephalic version (ECV), caesarean birth, turning your baby at home with many options that are open to you. We will look at positions to adopt during pregnancy to help baby turn head down, optimum foetal positioning, biomechanics to create space in your pelvis, yoga and Traditional Chinese Medicine’s. There are some other tricks and tips to try, but I won't give away all of my secrets just yet!

We will also delve into your rights to the birth type you want, birth outside of NHS guidelines, how to assess obstetric risk in a holistic way and how to navigate the maternity system.

We will prepare you to try moxibustion and I will share some videos on the topic. I will perform a moxibustion demonstration and you will be given detailed instructions on how to administer moxibustion safely. You will receive a free kit so that you can administer moxibustion at home, along with a few other goodies.

In a session with some recent clients we practiced a beautifully relaxing yoga session, all of the asanas (positions) were chosen to try and help create space in the pelvis. It was a lovely one to one session.

What is Moxibustion?

Moxibustion (moxa) is a Traditional Chinese Medicine that involves burning the herb mugwart (moxa) to produce heat near a specific point along a set of invisible channels of energy through your body, called meridians. The heat along the correct meridian can bring warmth to the uterus, increase foetal activity, and can help baby to turn.

Mugwort is a tall, herbaceous plant, Artemisia vulgaris, that is native to temperate Europe, Asia, and northern Africa, as well present in North America.

Moxa is believed to stimulate blood flow to the pelvic area and uterus. It can rid us of physical, spiritual and mental blockages, whilst rebalancing energy and helping the energy to flow well again.

We use an acupressure point on the little toe called bladder 67. At this specific point the moxa will be burnt 1cm away from your toe to create the heat within the body. You will need to administer this for around half an hour each day for around a week, possibly up to ten days. You will need a willing participant to help you administer this, even if you can reach your own little toes, as it’s important to create space within your body at the same time. A full run down on what to do and how to achieve the best results will be given to you during the workshop

Moxibustion has a 67% success rate (higher than ECV!)

Sadly, not all babies turn and some stay in the breech position. It’s worth noting that whilst it may not be your ideal scenario some babies need to be in the breech position and this is the way it’s meant to be. We need to start thinking of breech as a variation of normal, rather than it being something to be feared.

Moxibustion pros and cons


Effective in clinical practice

Some hospitals and clinics are offering this service

65-67% (better than ECV)

Easy to administer

Avoids caesarean birth

Avoids breech vaginal birth


Empowers you to take control of the situation

Allows for people to birth as they planned (e.g., water, MLU)

Risk of baby turning back to breech is less compared to ECV

Even more successful when used in conjunction with acupuncture


Nausea from the smell of mugwort

Burns if administered incorrectly

Not suitable in early pregnancy (promotes downwards energy of foetal head)

Not suitable for everyone (see contraindications list)

Must be kept away from aromatherapy oils

Must be taught by a professional

What is the evidence on the use of moxibustion to turn a breech baby?

Moxibustion has been proven to be effective in clinical practice and is now used within some maternity units. I believe the popularity to use moxibustion in hospitals will increase, if only there was the budget to implement this practice!

Here are some links to evidence-based information if you would like to research the topic in further detail:

Is moxibustion safe?

It is a safe practice if used correctly. It is safe if it is administered or taught to you by someone trained in it’s use. There are a lot of contraindications, and these would need to be taken into consideration. You will also need to use the correct type of moxa. Not all types of moxa are suitable for use in pregnancy and it can be dangerous if you use the wrong thing.

A few of the contraindications are…diabetes, blood pressure concerns, multiples, your waters have released, respiratory conditions. There are many other contraindications, this is just an example and why it’s important to seek the support of a professional in moxibustion use. You will fill in a questionnaire ahead of a session with me to ensure safety.

Please only use moxibustion if you’ve had a consultation with a trained professional.

Breech Choices & Moxibustion Workshop details by Breathe Birth Yoga:

This package costs £125 and includes a telephone consultation, a 90 minute workshop and a follow up check in.

You will receive a free moxibustion kit, some useful handouts in a book that I have created, a goodie bag and a booklet on turning babies through physical movement.

I can facilitate sessions via Zoom, in your home or in my home overlooking the Essex countryside with tea and cake. This will depend on where you are in the world.

Remember that the breech presentation is a variation of normal and your baby may be in this position for a reason.

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