Moxibustion for Turning Breech Babies

Most babies are born in a vertex or head down position, allowing for an easier passage out of the uterus and through the pelvis. Babies will typically turn head down between 28-32 weeks.

Breech describes a pregnancy in which the baby is not positioned head down.  Often a breech baby will be bottom down, while others are feet first or transverse. 3-4% of babies are breech at 37 weeks. Often a breech presentation can lead to a C-section. If your baby is breech there are non-invasive techniques to help your baby turn head down.

Acupuncture along with moxibustion is well known for success in turning breech babies. Moxibustion is a warming technique using an herb called mugwort- often compressed into a smokeless stick for ease of use. We have helped scores of women turn breech babies at DHH and want to share with you what you can do for yourself at home.

This protocol is known to encourage the baby to move into - and stay in- the best possible position for birth. It is recommended to do the whole ten-day protocol even if you discover baby is in position when you see your OBGYN or midwife. This will help baby stay in position. One of my patients calls this “smoking her toes” and used it successfully to turn breech babies in both pregnancies after week 36.


Best to use smokeless moxa. It would be deal to have your partner or a friend do the moxibustion for you. The protocol is to moxa the following points bilaterally twenty minutes for ten days.

If you are certain baby has moved into head down position you can reduce the moxa time from twenty to ten minutes per day till the ten days are up.

Make yourself comfortable on a bed or chair and wear loose, comfortable clothing. Light the tips of two moxa sticks until the ends are glowing. Careful not to burn yourself or anything else! The lit moxa sticks are held bilaterally about a thumbs width from UB67 (outer proximal corner of pinky toe nail) until woman feels the skin is comfortably hot, the sticks removed for 2-3 seconds then re-applied. This "pecking" action repeated for 20 minutes.

UB 67 is the point where Urinary Bladder meridian meets the Kidney meridian. Stimulating this point strengthens the Kidney Qi, important for maintaining the fetus in the correct position. Extinguish moxa by stubbing out and keep in a sealed glass jar or use a jar of sand or rice to extinguish. Be sure to have enough moxa sticks to get through the ten days. - 6 sticks should do it.  It is always best to have acupuncture in conjunction with your home moxa protocol if at all possible. Give us a call and we will get you right in for support!