Pros and Cons Self Moxibustion for Baby Breech at Home

If you are a woman who is now pregnant and wanting to bear your baby in the next few months, make sure to check up your baby position 

Checking up your baby position is really important since, most babies will rotate into a head down position in preparation for birth. 

However, for baby breech position, that is baby head-up position may usually occur in 3-5% of pregnancies at term. 

Recently, moxibustion is a trending option in later pregnancy for when babies are in a breech position. .  

Breech position means that the baby settles in a bottom-first position instead of the more normal head-first position. 

Some alternative solutions may have to be taken to encourage babies to move into the optimal position for delivery. 

In medical, a doctor may suggest you do cesarean to bear your baby in that position, breech condition

Well, most people like having to bear their baby normally even their baby in breech position

To avoid a cesarean section, you may try various ways to turn your  babies into a head-down position. 

If you consult your doctor regarding baby breech position, you may be suggested to do external cephalic version aka ECV, also called the hands-to-belly procedure 

This procedure is needed to turn breech babies to normal positions. 

Anyway, even though this ECV is safe and frequently effective, this procedure may be uncomfortable for you 

External Cephalic Version may also result in a greater risk potentially leading to emergency cesarean 

Thus, the least invasive and safest as a first option, such as acupuncture, moxibustion, chiropractic, and movement based strategies to encourage a baby to turn normally are the best options that doing ECV

Moreover, some women also have reported that babies are more responsive to ECV when they use acupuncture and moxibustion to solve baby breech.

Alternatively, if you want a safe solution to turn a breech baby, you can try using moxibustion 

What is Moxibustion Therapy for Baby Breech?

In chinese medicine, Moxibustion is applied where you burn moxa or an herb called Artemesia vulgaria closing to your skin of the fifth toes, called Bladder 67 of both feet. 

Traditional Chinese medicine uses moxibustion as an alternative therapy for baby breech that involves burning the herb mugwort or moxa near specific points along a set of invisible, vertical lines that cross the body, which is known as meridians. 

Later on, these meridians will then correspond to specific organs, which is then stimulated to strengthen blood flow and prompt the release of certain hormones. 

Practically, if you want to take moxibustion for your baby breech, you can firstly use and burn the moxa sticks close to your toes for about 15-20 minutes 

If you do moxibustion earlier in pregnancy, the result will be more successful. 

You can do this if your pregnancy is between 28 and 37 weeks old from anywhere to 1-10 times daily, for up to two weeks 

Ideally, the pregnancy in 32-34 weeks old are ideal for moxibustion treatment, then focus on breech presentation as early as 30 weeks, where you may have seen babies turn as late as 39 weeks. 

How does Moxibustion Work on Solving Baby Breech?

Moxa is sticks of dried herb usually used to heat specific energy points on your little toes. 

The heat from the moxa stick is then absorbed into the points and transferred via energy channels 

Then, it can trigger hormone changes which relax the muscles in your uterus to increase your baby’s activity, encouraging him to turn to a normal position. 

In any other way, moxibustion is about 66% successful to turn baby position, which is better than ECV. 

Moxibustion works when you burn the moxa stick to stimulate heat receptors on the skin of your toe. 

This heat will encourage the release of two pregnancy hormones which are placental estrogen and prostaglandins where they are leading to uterine contractions, helping the baby to move into an optimal, head-down position for a vaginal birth. 

It can be said that the contractions here will stimulate the baby to move to a normal position. 

Based on the research, the women who were assigned to receive moxibustion underwent 72% decrease in the risk of using oxytocin and they ended up with a vaginal birth or normal birth 

And, the pregnant women doing moxibustion plus postural techniques were 1.3 times more likely to have a baby in head-down position at birth 

To get better result, you can combine moxibustion with either acupuncture or postural techniques to increase your chances of turning a breech baby 

In line with this, you can use moxibustion twice per day for two weeks which is during 33-35 weeks of pregnancy. 

Usually, moxibustion is combined with acupuncture, where you can wrap a small amount of dried mugwort atop a needle which is already in the acupuncture point and lights it. 

Doing this creates a warming sensation in the skin in which a cone of moxa may also be placed directly on the acupuncture point and lit

You can also do moxibustion with lighting cigar-sized moxibustion sticks near the points and holding them close until your heat reddens the skin.

How To Do Self Moxibustion Treatments for Baby Breech at Home?

When doing moxibustion treatment, the pregnant women laid face up, and the hot moxa stick was held near the outside of the little toenail 20 minutes daily that can be repeated for two weeks regularly 

If you are a pregnant woman and applying the moxibustion at home, you can do it to your skin of the fifth toes, called Bladder 67 called as UB67 of both your feet

First thing first, you must learn how to use a knee-chest posture to try and turn the baby.

And, you must check with your midwife that your baby is still breech and please tell her what you intend to do. 

For moxa sticks, you can use paper-wrapped or charcoal-impregnated and make sure to ask for moxa specifically to turn breech babies. 

Before starting self moxibustion treatment at home, you must firstly prepare these things

  1. Make sure to get moxa stick
  2. Get lighter or small candle to light up moxa stick
  3. Put small candle on ceramic or glass dish, such as an ashtray
  4. You need a small towel or paper or plastic to place under the area being treated to protect the surface from any falling ash from moxa stick
  5. Also, you need a glass jar with air-tight lid, such as a mason jar to fit the whole moxa stick 

To start moxibustion for baby breech at home, just follow these steps 

  1. Scratch to remove a centimetre of paper from one end of a moxa stick  
  2. After doing so, then light a centimetre of paper from one end of a moxa stick with a match. 
  3. Now, it is time to blow out the flame, and leave the stick smoking and hot. 
  4. After all is prepared, you can simply sit comfortably, relaxed and loosen tight clothing. 
  5. To apply it, be sure you have emptied your bladder before starting moxibuxtion treatment. 
  6. You will feel the energy points stream on the outer corner at the base or cuticle of your little or fifth toe nails. 
  7. You can direct heat from the stick over the energy points, about half a centimetre away from your skin which feel warm but not excessively hot. 
  8. Then, just move to heap up from one foot to the other, holding the stick for 15-30 seconds over the point on one foot, and continue to the point on the other foot. 

You can do this between your two feet for at least 20-30 minutes per session. 

  1. For later use, you can do this twice a day, for five days to ten treatments. 

To convince, you can continue to complete the five days of treatment, even if you think your baby has turned normally. 

Again, based upon the research, some women report that the baby becomes very active during the moxa treatment and for a period of time after.  

Afterward, the treatment is a great time to do inversions or spend some time on hands and knees to give the baby the most space possible to move around and find a head-down position.

As an illustration, start to light one end of the moxa stick by holding it in a steady flame. 

Wait as it can take a couple of minutes to fully light, especially with a brand-new stick.  

When it is properly lit, you will see the moxa stick glowing red, and the whole end will be lit. 

From that point, any extra ash needs to be scrapped or tapped into an ashtray. 

Be sure not to let too much ash accumulate, as it can fall and cause burns. 

Now it is time to practice it where you can hold the moxa stick 1 to 2 inches from the skin, especially bladder 67 area located at the outside corner of the pinky toenail. 

At that time, you should feel a comfortable, radiating warmth.  

Then, you can move the moxa stick further away if the heat becomes intense 

Always remember not to allow the stick to directly contact the skin.  

You can do this by moving the moxa stick up and down slightly, or in small circles around the point. 

Doing this will allow the greatest penetration of warmth and prevent the heat from becoming too strong.

In the process, you can focus on Bladder 67 point with the moxa stick 20 minutes each side, and keep repeating this daily for 10 days.  

You can do this 10 minutes per side, twice per day.  

For better result, keep doing this treatment, even after baby has turned normally 

When completing the moxibustion treatment, place the moxa stick in the glass jar, lit side down.  

Then, screw on the lid firmly, which will help to put the moxa stick out.  

Always be aware not to touch the end of the moxa stick, even if it appears not to be lit, and do not touch the jar as it may become hot as well.

Sometimes, a woman with a 32-40 week pregnant belly can be a challenge to reach their feet, and especially to hold that position for 20-40 minutes.

Anyway, you can practice moxibustion at home, since it only takes a few treatments using sticks in the office, and success rates are much higher and safer when performed by a professional

When doing self moxibustion, you need to hold moxa sticks at a comfortable distance to warm the area and not burn the mother-to-be. 

According to this, burning moxa directly on the point is not an at-home technique and it should only be performed by the practitioners in a clinical setting 

Well, learning a breech baby position is not a stressful situation, moxibustion can be quite relaxing to apply for this situation.  

You can hold a moxibustion stick above the mother’s pinky toe when performing moxibustion for a breech baby. 

The heat stimulates connective tissue and nerve channels link this area to the uterus which will cause it to relax 

Moxibustion Side Effect

Surely, every treatment has pros and cons but it is better to prioritize positive effect first like said in the previous statements 

For pregnant women who take moxibustion as their therapy, some side effects of the moxibustion may arise when they are smelling an unpleasant odor, nausea, and abdominal pain from contractions.

Besides, changing the moxa heating from one foot to the other became uncomfortable for some women.

It can be concluded that moxibustion treatment is safe where about 1 out of 3 women may have contractions during the treatment, but there was no increase in the risk of preterm birth. 


Moxibustion is a safe way to turn baby positions, which is better than ECV. 

Practicing daily moxibustion at home increase the success of the fetus repositioning


Moxibustion is not appropriate for women with a breech baby if you have a previous caesarean or other uterine surgery 

If you are expecting more than one baby or your baby is very big or very small or known to have health problems, you may not need to do moxibustion

If you have had vaginal bleeding, and have a low-lying placenta or placenta praevia, or any other pregnancy complications, it is better not to take this moxibustion 

Plus, if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or any other medical condition, or a caesarean for a medical reason do not use moxibustion first 

If there is a lot of fluid and your baby keeps changing position, do not do moxibustion.

During the five days of the moxibustion treatment, try any other way of turning your baby and do not continue the treatment beyond five days.

If you are concerned at any time, stop the moxibustion.


From the statements above, moxibustion works on stimulating the last point on the bladder meridian brings movement to the kidney channel and helps the baby to turn

Once again, moxibuxtion therapy at home is a highly effective way to encourage your breech baby to turn and it must be done daily for 10 days, making home treatment more practical than visiting your acupuncturist on a daily basis.  

The first thing to do is that you must first learn the technique and point location from your acupuncturist 

And, find that the moxa treatment works best in conjunction with acupuncture also. 

Moxibustion for a breech baby is usually performed between weeks 34 and 36 of pregnancy 

Alternatively, moxibustion may be prescribed as an alternative or precursor to an external cephalic version also known as ECV. 

The use of moxibustion and ECV are to encourage the baby’s movement to a head-first or “vertex” position so that a vaginal birth is possible. 

If both methods are unsuccessful, you may take scheduled C-section birth

For your safety, you may need to inform your midwife or doctor before attempting moxibustion 

And, you must be sure that your baby is still breech before you start moxibustion treatment. 

On the other hand, strength, flexibility, and alignment of your body, especially the pelvis, can have a big impact on your baby’s ability to turn. 

To deal with this, always staying active is really important to your baby’s health, as well as giving your baby the best chance to turn.  

If you sit for many hours at a desk, or on the couch, or while driving, it has a tendency to encourage tucking of the pelvis which decreases the amount of space the baby has to move.

So, make sure to spend less time on sitting and stay active as much as possible such as walking everyday.  

On a daily basis, you can find ways to stand or walk during your day such as talking on the phone, folding clothes, and using a counter or standing desk while working on the computer.

If you want to sit, you can trade your regular chair for an exercise ball. 

All of your activities will help the movement to help your baby turn. 

In addition, do not try wearing high heels where they can change the angle of many of your body’s joints, especially the pelvis.  

Wearing high heels may create back pain and make it more difficult for the baby to turn. 

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