Ooooh Moxa, Baby!Posted by: Christina Gabbard | Filed Under Uncategorized | No comments
Ooooh Moxa, Baby! Moxibustion Therapy can be effective for spinning a baby from the breech position (butt down) to cephalic (head down), and a great aid to helping a new mom heal postpartum.
A baby in the breech position, bottom first, can have more difficulty being born and a caesarean section is often recommended.
Western medicine’s treatment for breech presentation is an External Cephalic Version (ECV), which is successful about 50% of the time. This method of manually turning the baby is usually done around week 37. ECV can be uncomfortable and carries the risk of fetal distress, ruptured membranes and placental separation.
The traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatment for breech presentation has been used for thousands of years. It is successful 75% of the time and carries no risk to the mother or baby. It is generally done between weeks 34-36, when there is still enough room for the baby to turn, although it can be attempted later in pregnancy as well. The method involves burning a moxa stick or in Chinese, ai ye, directly onto or over (depending on the practitioner) an acupuncture point on the foot. The reason this works is not completely understood, but it is believed to release hormones that stimulate the uterus and increase fetal activity, which encourages the baby to turn on its own. When successful, the baby will turn within 24 hours of treatment. Sometimes only one treatment is needed, and sometimes it may take several treatments for the baby to turn.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is extremely helpful in recovery after childbirth too. The postpartum time can be the happiest, magical time of your life but it can also be the most taxing time on a new moms physical and emotional reserves. The new mom will most likely be sleep deprived and extremely tired due to the loss of blood and energy during the hard work of labor and delivery. She may also have some postpartum blues due to hormonal changes, which is greatly helped with encapsulated placenta, and a technique that herbalists use to help new moms recover called “Mother Warming”.
Mother Warming employs Moxibustion, a technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing. Moxibustion has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years, the earliest record of moxibustion can be traced back to the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). It was a widely used treatment until the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Mother Warming treatments consist of using moxibustion on acupuncture points on the lower abdomen and back to aid healing, helps to ensure speedy involution of the uterus, brings lost “heat” (energy) back to mom after her labor and delivery, and assists with general recovery and a return to vitality. By warming the womb with moxibustion, a mom can ease after-pains, soothe rocky emotions, and experience a faster return to her pre-pregnant state. Most importantly it will help the new mom feel more rejuvenated and ready to begin her new role as mom. Mother Warming can be started 3 days postpartum.
Note: American Medical Association in 1998 found that up to 75% of women with breech presentations before childbirth had babies that rotated to the head down position after receiving moxibustion at an acupuncture point on the bladder meridian. http://www.ivillage.com/moxibustion-correct-breech-presentation/6-a-144725
Christina Gabbard, CPES a.k.a Carolina Placenta Lady, is a Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist & Mentor serving natural mommies; health minded women who have an interest in the TCM properties of encapsulated placenta for alleviation or prevention of post-natal depression, “baby-blues”. She also enjoys empowering moms birth related challenges; helping them to conceive, carry, and confidently birth through hypnotherapy, healthy living, and mindfulness. She resides in Charlotte NC with her family and fur-fam.