It is already known that a baby breech presentation for many mothers is experienced as a frustration since, every so often mothers feel trapped being offered the only and “best option” of a caesarean section (Waites, 2003).
Less and less, mothers get the opportunity to deliver their breech babies physiologically, and when they decide to have a vaginal delivery it is often at their own risk. Mostly at their peril in an obstetric unit where few technicians are skilled in vaginal breech births.(Banks, 1998).
Midwives know our limits very well and never plan to attend a breech birth at home, since this is within our sphere of practice (ICM, 2005, WHO, 1997). However, it is our duty to be
trained and skilled to deal with a breech delivery in an emergency (Wallace, 2001, NMC, 2004). Furthermore, we have a duty to provide women with evidence-based choices. Unfortunately, until now the
several research results are very controversial(Waites, 2003), and the options are much too limited.
I have often experienced the courage, determination and willpower of many women who want a physiological birth but feel trapped into having an unavoidable C-section. They try everything to help their breech babies turn around to a cephalic presentation (head down).
Thousands of years of history of Chinese medicine - and now also diverse scientific evidence - supports the use of moxibustion on certain parts of the body to stimulate the baby to
turn around by itself (Xun et al, 2009; Van den Berg et al, 2008, You et al, 2008, Coyle et al, 2005) with positive results running at approximately 50%.
Studies have also been carried out to help breech babies turn around through postures and/or exercises, but the results are not conclusive (Hofmeyr and Kulier,
However, I have been working on breech presentations by using deep body awareness; my results so far have found a 85% success rate using moxibustion combined with a series of 3 short, simple exercises and a maximum of 10 days of treatment (Sàrries Zgonc, 2011). I teach the mother to do the exercises correctly and to apply moxibustion; she performs the daily treatment on herself at the time of day she feels most relaxed.
I usually work with the mothers when they have already reached 36 weeks of pregnancy to give the baby the chance to turn around by itself. I would never work on a breech presentation earlier than this, unless the mother expressly asked me to, since I like to respect the needs and rhythms of the baby, while always taking into account the emotional needs of the mother which can also play an important role.