[Alternative methods instead of external cephalic version in the event of breech presentation. Review of the literature]

J Gynecol Obstet Biol Reprod (Paris). 2004 Apr;33(2):94-8. doi: 10.1016/s0368-2315(04)96407-1.
[Article in French]


Fetal breech presentation at term is more and more treated by a planned cesarean section. Considering the increased maternal morbidity and mortality in relation to abdominal delivery versus vaginal birth, natural and innocuous methods have been proposed for the promotion of a spontaneous fetal cephalic version during the last two Months of pregnancy. In order to stimulate fetal motility many techniques have been described, either advising postural methods (passive bridge, Indian version, knee-chest position) or using acupuncture (stimulation of the fifth toe and auricular points). Other techniques like chiropractic manipulations or hypnosis have also been tried. Unfortunately, most publications are retrospective and methodologically inaccurate, but it seems that their results may be favorably compared with that of the external cephalic version, a much more complex procedure, which is potentially dangerous and certainly time consuming and expensive. The only randomized controlled trial with a proven efficacy concerns moxibustion (burning herbs to stimulate the acupoint BL 67 or Zhiyin, located beside the outer corner of the fifth toenail).

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy
  • Breech Presentation*
  • Delivery, Obstetric / methods*
  • Female
  • Fetal Movement*
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis
  • Manipulation, Chiropractic
  • Moxibustion
  • Posture
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Version, Fetal / adverse effects