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Turning a breech baby.

Date: Wed, 4 May 1994 00:03:54 -0700
Sender: "Medicinal and Aromatic Plants discussion list <HERB.TREARN.BITNET>
From: David Eagle <eagle.NETCOM.COM>
Subject: Re: relaxation/pregnancy - help

>A friend of mine needs her uterus to relax!!!!
>Her baby is 36 weeks along and she has to be hospitalized May 9 if the baby does not turn, possible C section. It is breech, the head is up, face outward.
>She has a very stressful job and the doctor said they want to give her a drug that will relax her uterus and they will try to flip it by massaging her stomach.
>Does anyone have a SAFE concoction to help her BEFORE the 9th.

Hi, I work a lot with these situations, maybe I can offer some suggestions. First, quit work - Now! She is obviously putting too much of her enrgy into mental and now enough into her pelvis and the baby.

Second often the baby will turn face up if the circulation is restricted or it is just too cool. Wearing a scarf or wrap around the belly and kidney area of the low back will heat up the fetus and increase the circulation to the area. This often will cause the fetus to turn its back away from the mothers internal heat.

Third, an herb called "Dang gui" will help to relax and warm the area. Often it is spelled Tang Kwei. Don't be frighten by warning not to take during pregnancy, it is used often in pregnancy and I have use it for years in my clinic with great results.

Other herbs that might help, would be Blue Cohosh and Black Haw. Black haw helps the abdomen to relax and blue cohosh aids the nervous system.

Let me know how its going, please.

P.S. Might check and see if there is a acupuncturist in the area who works with and has experience with pregnancy. There is an acupuncture treatment that helps most of the time.

David Eagle


From: Jonathan Treasure <jtreasure.AOL.COM>

>Third, and herb calle "Dang gui" will help to relax and warm the area. Often it is spelled Tang Kwei. Don't be frighten by warning not to take during pregnancy, it is used often in pregnancy and I have use it for years in my clinic with great results.
>Other herbs that might help, would be Blue Cohosh and Black Haw. Black haw helps the abdomen to relax and blue cohosh aids the nervous system.

I would be interested in other people's views on this. I have been working with midwives in Oregon recently and here Blue cohosh is regarded as specific for initiating and strengthening contractions.

Also, Dong quai, and indeed all the Angelicas are regarded as specific for expulsion of retained placenta - we used it in this context for a birth here last week! (Susun Weed confirms this)

This does not seem compatible with your suggestions for breech birth application, especially since at 36 weeks one would not want to be using uterine stimulants.

Any other views?


From: Rob Bidleman <robbee.CRL.COM>

> This does not seem compatible with your suggestions for breech birth application, especially since at 36 weeks one would not want to be using uterine stimulants.
> Any other views?

I agree whole heartedly Jonathan...Dong Quai is NOT a good candidate, regardless of anecdotal recommendations.


From: Kelly Martin <kelly.POVERTY.BLOOMINGTON.IN.US>

> I would be interested in other people's views on this. I have been working with midwives in Oregon recently and here Blue cohosh is regarded as specific for initiating and strengthening contractions.

my sources confirm this. blue cohosh is one of the better herbal sources of estrogen analogues, and is used to induce or strenghten uterine contractions. black cohosh is not as powerful in this regard, but i would still think it would be contraindicated during pregnancy unless labor was desired (which it would not be at 36 weeks or with a breech positioning).

blue cohosh is listed as an abortifacient in my herbal.

> This does not seem compatible with your suggestions for breech birth application, especially since at 36 weeks one would not want to be using uterine stimulants.

i would think in case of a breech birth you would want a uterine _relaxant_ to aid the doctor/midwife in reorienting the fetus for delivery. both cohoshes are considered muscle relaxants as well, but i suspect their estrogen analogues make their behavior with respect to the uterus different.

i might suggest a mixture of valerian root, yarrow, and white willow bark instead. add an aromatic if you find this mixture too unpalatable. : )

also, 36 weeks is too early for a delivery and the pregnancy should be continued for at least another two weeks if at all possible.


From: Peggy Brown <OISPEGGY.UBVMS.BITNET>

> black cohosh is not as powerful in this regard, but i would still think it would be contraindicated during pregnancy unless labor was desired (which it would not be at 36 weeks or with a breech positioning).

I certainly agree.

>i would think in case of a breech birth you would want a uterine _relaxant_ to aid the doctor/midwife in reorienting the fetus for delivery. both cohoshes are considered muscle relaxants as well, but i suspect their estrogen analogues make their behavior with respect to the uterus different.

No expert here, but from what I've read they try to reorient the fetus several weeks prior to the delivery date, when its smaller. Also, by the time labor starts the baby's head is often alread engaged (descending into the pelvis). Though with a breech birth the other end would be descending.

Actually, where a breech birth is concerned, I think ultrasound is essential. (Sorry if this offends anyone.) There are different types of breech positions. Some can be delivered normally and some cannot. Also, you want to see where the cord is. A prolapsed cord can be very dangerous (the cord slips below the baby and gets crushed between the baby and the uterus and the baby dies).

>i might suggest a mixture of valerian root, yarrow, and white willow bark instead. add an aromatic if you find this mixture too unpalatable.

Doesn't willow bark have the active ingredient for aspirin? Aspirin is a big no-no throughout pregnancy and especially during labor since it causes increased bleeding.

>also, 36 weeks is too early for a delivery and the pregnancy should be continued for at least another two weeks if at all possible.

Sure, provided the baby is fine, why rush things? In fact, the baby might still turn on hir own.

- Peggy -


From: Kelly Martin <kelly.POVERTY.BLOOMINGTON.IN.US>

> No expert here, but from what I've read they try to reorient the fetus several weeks prior to the delivery date, when its smaller. Also, by the time labor starts the baby's head is often alread engaged (descending into the pelvis). Though with a breech birth the other end would be descending.

i don't know if this is the afflicted woman's first or subsequent pregnancy. engagement usually occurs about six weeks before onset of labor in the first pregnancy but often doesn't occur until the onset of labor in subsequent pregnancies. if true labor has started, though, the fetus is almost certainly engaged, and if the fetus is still breech at this point expert medical intervention is almost
certainly called for, if at all possible.

> Actually, where a breech birth is concerned, I think ultrasound is essential. (Sorry if this offends anyone.) There are different types of breech positions. Some can be delivered normally and some cannot. Also, you want to see where the cord is. A prolapsed cord can be very dangerous (the cord slips below the baby and gets crushed between the baby and the uterus and the baby dies).

i agree; if there is any doubt that an engaged fetus is not head-down an ultrasound is a highly advisable action. the risks to mother and child are too great to let silly notions about midwifery being better than doctors interfere (apologies if anyone takes offense). even if the breech is a deliverable one there is a greater chance the neonate will be distressed at birth and will need immediate medical intervention.

> Doesn't willow bark have the active ingredient for aspirin? Aspirin is a big no-no throughout pregnancy and especially during labor since it causes increased bleeding.

actually, aspirin is a minor no-no; it should be prescribed with extreme care. the other thing about aspirin (according to my partner's OB and my mother) is that it tends to slow/halt labor.

btw, white willow bark was used as a painkiller during labor for centuries.


From: Jonathan Treasure <jtreasure.AOL.COM>

>i agree; if there is any doubt that an engaged fetus is not head-down an ultrasound is a highly advisable action. the risks to mother and child are too great to let silly notions about midwifery being better than doctors interfere (apologies if anyone takes offense).

Whoopsa-daisy kelly! Nobody said anything about midwives being better than doctors - might this be a teeny little problem of yours?

The original poster of this thread was trying to avoid *unnecessary* medical intervention - and the definition of *necessary* is the issue upon which doctors and many (lay) midwives would disagree as I understand it.

Jonathan



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