Breech Position, Labour Preparation And Induction Acupuncture

Preparing for labour

Acupuncture and Moxibustion for breech positioned babies

If you have been informed that your baby is in a Breech position then Acupuncture and Moxibustion treatment can be considered when practised by a degree qualified and AHPRA registered Acupuncturist who is trained in Women’s Health and Pregnancy. With your consent, at The Dao Health we encourage communication between our practitioners and your Obstetrician or Midwife by using Acupuncture and Moxibustion treatment to support your baby to turn.

For optimal clinical practice it is ideal to begin treatment from 34 weeks gestation to support the baby to turn to optimal position. Treatment can be attempted as late as 38 or 39 weeks.

Treatment frequency

1 x Initial Acupuncture and consultation treatment to support baby to turn, this will include a Moxibustion stick tutorial of which you will then use the moxa sticks for twenty minutes daily for 10 days on a specific Acupuncture appointment. Birth partners are encouraged to attend this appointment. Subsequent Acupuncture and consultation treatment is recommended post finishing the 10 day cycle of Moxibustion and once you have checked in with your Midwife or Obstetrician to confirm if your baby has turned.

What appointment should I book for?

We recommend booking in for an Initial Labour Preparation consultation and treatment appointment for all Breech position, Labour Preparation and Induction Acupuncture appointments.

What does research tell us?

A 1998 Italian Study included 260 Primigravidae with breech presentations in the 33rd week of pregnancy, 130 women were treated with Moxibustion to Bl67 for a period of 7 days & if the baby had not turned, treatment was continued for another seven days ). 130 Women formed the control group.

What did they find?

75.4% of the babies in the moxibustion group turned, compared to 47.7% of those in the control group.


1. Cardini F, Weixin H (1998). “Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation”, Journal of the American Medical Association.

2. Systematic review 2009 – Li X, Hu J, Wang X, Zhang H, Liu J. Moxibustion and other acupuncture point stimulation methods to treat breech presentation: a systematic review of clinical trials. Chin Med. 2009

Preparing for labour

At The Dao Health we support our patients to prepare for Labour with Prebirth acupuncture, encouraging education and awareness to empower women, discussing birth preferences and teaching their partner’s how to use Acupressure to support women to prepare for labour, to induce labour from full term and specific points to use during each stage of labour.

Throughout the treatments in the weeks leading up to birth, there is also the opportunity to treat late pregnancy induced symptoms as well as support posterior positioned babies to move to optimal position.

Specific prebirth treatments are used in the form of a standard set of points to help prepare a woman’s body for birth with an emphasis on preparing and ripening the cervix & uterus.

For our patient’s preparing to have an elective caesarean, there are a set of specific points we will use to support birth and recovery.

Treatment frequency

Labour Preparation treatment begins at 36 weeks and is weekly to full term.

We encourage birth partners to attend the appointment at 36 weeks so our practitioners can teach them how to confidently use Acupressure pre and during each stage of labour. Please bring your pregnancy card from your maternal healthcare provider to the appointment.

What appointment should I book for?

We recommend booking in an Initial Labour Preparation consultation and treatment.

What does research tell us?

Gestation at onset of labour, incidence of medical induction, length of labour, use of analgesia, type of delivery.

What did they find?

When compared with local population rates, overall 35% reduction in the number of inductions ( Primigravida 43%), 31% reduction in Epidural rate, 32% reduction in emergency cesarean delivery, 9% increase in vaginal birth.

Acupuncture for Prebirth Treatment: D. Betts & S. Lennox Acupuncture for Prebirth treatment: An Observation Study of its use in Midwifery Practice , Medical Acupuncture Vol. 3

How acupuncture can induce labour

At The Dao Health, we support our pregnant patients from 36 weeks to prepare their bodies and minds for the most efficient birth possible and will use induction acupuncture points once at full term. Specific points can be used to encourage cervical ripening at full term and support a shortened time interval between the woman’s expected due date and time of delivery.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, labour is expected to commence when three factors occur simultaneously: i. yang activity replaces Yin material growth, ii. Qi flows freely and moves blood and iii. The door of the uterus opens. When Qi flows correctly and the blood circulates well, a harmonious labour follows with the onset of contractions, dilation of the cervix, rupture of the waters and expulsion of the fetus

Debra Betts

What does research tell us?

Outcome measures: Whether acupuncture at term can influence cervical ripening and reduce the need for postdates induction.

On their due dates, 45 women were randomised into either an acupuncture group (25) or a control group (20). The acupuncture group received acupuncture every two days. The women in both groups were examined every other day for cervical length (measured by vaginal ultrasonography, cervical mucus and cervical stasis according to Bishop’s score). If women had not delivered after 10 days labour was induced by administering vaginal prostaglandin tablets.

What did they find?

The time from the woman’s due date to delivery was an average of 5 days in the acupuncture group compared to 7.9 days in the control group, and labour was medically induced in 20% of women in the acupuncture group compared to 35% in the control group. There were no differences between the overall duration of labour or of the first and second stages of labour.

Study concluded that Acupuncture at the points Hegu L.I.-4 and Sanyinjiao SP-6 supports cervical ripening and can shorten the time interval between the woman’s expected date of delivery and the actual time of delivery.

Rabl M, Ahner R, Bitschnau M, Zeisler H, Husslein P. Acupuncture for cervical ripening and induction of labour at term – a randomised controlled trail. Wien Klin Wochenschr 2001; 113 (23-24): 942-6.

Using acupressure in labour

In an Initial Labour Preparation appointment at The Dao Health, our practitioners will support patients and their birth partners to be able to confidently use specific Acupressure points to prepare for labour, to induce labour post full term and throughout the stages of labour to reduce pain and to support the mother.

What does research tell us?

Outcome measures: Acupuncture or Acupressure for pain management during labour

What did they find?

13 trials reported on women receiving acupuncture and fifteen trials reported on the use of acupressure, with the finding that women receiving acupuncture or acupressure reported benefits in:

  • Reduced pharmacological analgesia
  • Less intense pain
  • Increased maternal satisfaction

C.Smith et al. Acupuncture or Acupressure for pain management during labour, Cochrane Review 2020

Integrating Chinese Medicine Podcast

To learn more, listen to the episode about Acupuncture treatment in Pregnancy
on our Integrating Chinese Medicine podcast.