If you are considering using a midwife to deliver your baby, you'll not only need to talk about your medical history and current medications, you'll also need to discuss your dietary supplements. Certain supplements may raise the risk for complications during childbirth and after childbirth. Here are three dietary supplements to discuss with your midwife prior to the delivery of your baby:


Magnesium, while an essential mineral for every cell in your body, can lead to diarrhea, cramps and nausea, according to WebMD. This gastrointestinal stimulation may lead to premature uterine contractions or cause loose stools during delivery.

While having a bowel movement during childbirth is common and generally not considered dangerous to the baby, persistent diarrhea during delivery may lead to maternal weakness, electrolyte imbalances and an abnormal heart rhythm. Your midwife may advise you to stop taking your magnesium supplements a week or so prior to your due date to reduce the risk of abnormal bowel function.


Garlic supplements are often taken to improve cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health. They have strong antibacterial properties and may help speed recovery from a cold or flu. Garlic is also a potent anticoagulant, which means that it keeps your blood thin.

If you take garlic supplements prior to your due date, you may experience excessive bleeding both during and after delivery. When your midwife is aware of your garlic intake, precautionary measures can be implemented to help discourage excessive bleeding when you have your baby.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Like garlic, omega-3 fatty acids thin the blood. They decrease platelet aggregation, which means that your platelets become less sticky and less likely to clot. While this is a desirable effect for people who are at high risk for heart attack, stroke or blood clots, it can be dangerous during childbirth.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fresh, fatty fish such as mackerel and salmon, and while taking supplements have powerful anticoagulant effects on the blood, eating fresh fish is less likely to cause bleeding problems. The blood clotting effects of omega-3s may become more pronounced when they are taken with aspirin or prescription anticoagulants such as warfarin.

If your physician has recommended that you take omega-3 fatty acids to promote cardiovascular health, do not stop taking them until it is deemed safe to do so. Abruptly discontinuing a blood thinner may raise the risk for thrombus formation.

Have a discussion with your midwife about the above supplements well in advance of your delivery. Doing so gives you a chance to stop taking them far enough in advance so that all traces are out of your system before your midwife delivers your baby.