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Acupuncture effects and cost-effectiveness for women with breech fetus

A breech presentation happens when a baby doesn’t move into a delivery position before birth and instead stays in a bottom-down position, which increasing the usage of Caesarean section and thus the risk of adverse effects on subsequent pregnancies is higher.

Acupuncture treatment between 33-36 weeks gestation may reduces the number of breech presentations at term, and therefore reduce the number of caesarean sections.

Read more about the study’s findings

Breech presentation is defined as a fetus in a longitudinal lie with the buttocks or feet closest to the cervix and it occurs in 3-4% of all deliveries.

In the following study, which was done in the University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the researchers evaluated the effectiveness and costs of breech version with acupuncture treatment compared with standard medical management for women with a fetus breech presentation at 33 weeks gestation.

The results showed that 32% breech presentations after Acupuncture treatment versus 53% with expectant management. With regards of caesarean section the percentage was 37% after Acupuncture treatment versus 50% with expectant management. The mean cost-savings per woman was euro 451 using Acupuncture treatment and it was more effective and less costly than expectant management.

The conclusions of the research was that offering Acupuncture treatment to women with a breech fetus at 33 weeks gestation reduces the number of breech presentations and thus can reduce the number of caesarean sections, and is cost-effective compared to expectant management, including external cephalic version.




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