Liz shares her whirlwind story of turning her breech baby. There is hope, breech mamas!
In 2004 I was 38 years old and preparing to have my second baby, due in February. I had a wonderful family care physician who had known me for years, and I was looking forward to her delivering my baby. At week 36 I had an in-office ultrasound, just to check on the baby’s growth. There I learned my baby was sideways breech.
Honestly, I didn’t think much about it until my doctor told me she would not be able to deliver the baby because she was not an OB/GYN. She would refer me to another doctor and I should prepare for a cesarean.
I completely panicked. I did not want a new doctor, and I especially did not want a cesarean. My doctor said my insurance (HMO) would not cover a vaginal birth with a breech presentation, and that was that.
My doctor told me I could try a few methods to turn the baby. She herself had not assisted any mother through it, but she encouraged me to look around. I was in great health and I had already delivered a baby so I decided to pursue turning the baby. On my mind was my maternity leave, I only had 4 weeks planned, AND I had a two year old, and I just could not see recovering from a cesarean fast enough to get to work.
Three options were open to me: Webster Chiropractic, Acupuncture, or manual manipulation. I was at 36 weeks and I had to move fast. I was living in Pittsburgh, PA. Absolutely no area chiropractor would attempt Webster* due to insurance issues (theirs, not mine). That one was out. Manual manipulation (ECV) was open to me, but if it doesn’t work, I learned I may stimulate labor, so that is an “at the hospital” kind of thing, and I saved that for the last resort. So, I looked for an acupuncturist.
There were two practicing acupuncturists in Pittsburgh, and one was an MD. I called him. The doctor saw me immediately. I was now at week 37. The procedure I needed is called moxibustion. But, for the first visit he tried basic acupuncture and sent me on my way. I was now having sonograms once a week, and a couple of days after my visit, my week 38 sonogram showed he was still breech. I made another appointment for the next day. I insisted on the full moxibustion.
I laid down and the Dr. performed general acupuncture all around me. I felt great. Then, he lit an incense stick of mugwart. He tamped the burning ember onto the outside of my pinky toes. Apparently that is the area that stimulates the uterus. Who knew. It hurt. I paid the man and left. ($100 a visit)
My Dr. then scheduled an induced labor for the very next day as she was worried the baby would move again. I delivered Sam, AKA, Mugwart, AKA the Mug, and we lived happily ever after.
I recommend moxibustion to anyone I can as it saved me from an operation, extended recovery time, and I didn’t have to switch doctors.
Liz Reiss, Albany, NY
*From Lauren: This is the first I have heard of chiropractors who won’t do Webster for insurance reasons, and I am looking into it.