What is Moxibustion?

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

I have been working with a quite a few couples this last month whos baby have been in a breech position. Breech position is when a baby is lying bottom or feet first in the uterus after 36 weeks of pregnancy. A ‘breech’ position is very common in early pregnancy and by 36 weeks most babies turn naturally into a head-first position with only 3-4% remaining in the breech position. Whilst it is perfectly doable to birth a breech baby vaginally, most women opt to birth via planned caesarean section or some women will look into ways of help baby to move the baby into a head-down position - and one way might be moxibustion.

(Breech is a huge subject that I will cover in a blog over the coming weeks)

What is moxibustion I hear you say?

Moxibustion is a form of traditional Chinese medicine. The treatment uses a Chinese herb called Moxa (Artemisia argyi), commonly known as ‘Mugwort’ is burned and held over the little toe. (I don't blame you if you're feeling sceptical here.. I sure was, but hear me out)!

The theory behind doing this is that Moxa sticks are used to heat specific energy points on your little toes. The heat is absorbed into the points and transferred via energy channels, triggering hormone changes which relax the muscles in your uterus to allow extra “give”, and increasing your baby’s activity, encouraging the baby to turn- Steph you have lost the plot now I hear you say!!


Small scale studies have shown that this along with acupuncture and or positional or posture techniques is both safe AND increases your chances of turning baby into a head-first position.

The research shows that when combined with the above it will work for 1 in 8 women. Yet another study showed a 66% success rate!

At the end of the day if your baby is in a breech position and it is safe for you to have moxibustion it may be worth giving it a go. It is a lot less invasive than having an External cephalic version (ECV) and or caesarean section.

I know some hospitals across the UK offer moxibustion.

*Moxibustion is not suitable for every woman with a breech baby. Please consult your midwife or doctor before starting the procedure.

Love Steph xx

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