- With Mayo Clinic obstetrician and medical editor-in-chief
Roger W. Harms, M.D.read biographyclose window
Roger W. Harms, M.D.Roger W. Harms, M.D.
"Nothing helps people stay healthy more than the power of real knowledge about health." — Dr. Roger Harms
As medical director of content, Dr. Roger Harms is excited about the potential for Mayo Clinic's health information site to help educate people about their health and provide them the tools and information to live healthier lives.
The Auburn, Neb., native has been with Mayo Clinic since 1981 and is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. Harms is a practicing physician and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and his specialty areas include office gynecology, high-risk obstetrics and obstetrical ultrasound.
From 2002 to 2007, Dr. Harms was director for education at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dr. Harms was the 1988 Mayo Medical School Teacher of the Year and served as associate dean for student affairs and academic affairs. He is the co-author of the "Mayo Clinic Model of Education." In 2008, Dr. Harms was presented the Distinguished Educator Award, Mayo Clinic, Rochester.
Dr. Harms is vice chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and medical editor of the Pregnancy section on this website. In addition, Dr. Harms is editor-in-chief of the "Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy" book, a month-by-month guide to everything a woman needs to know about having a baby.
"My medical education experience has grown out of a love of teaching, and that is what this site is about," Dr. Harms says. "If any visitor to this site makes a more informed and thus more comfortable decision about his or her health because of the information we provide, we are successful."
Healthy pregnancy (18)
- Leg cramps during pregnancy: Preventable?
- Vaccines during pregnancy: Are they safe?
- Air travel during pregnancy: Is it safe?
- see all in Healthy pregnancy
First trimester (3)
- Implantation bleeding: Normal in early pregnancy?
- Birth control pills: Harmful in early pregnancy?
- Nausea during pregnancy: A good thing?
Second trimester (1)
- Fundal height: An accurate sign of fetal growth?
Third trimester (1)
- Hypnobirthing: How does it work?
Pregnancy problems (9)
- Low amniotic fluid: How is it treated?
- Diastasis recti: How does pregnancy affect stomach muscles?
- Cervical length: Why does it matter during pregnancy?
- see all in Pregnancy problems
Breast-feeding while pregnant: Is it safe?
Is it safe to continue breast-feeding if I'm pregnant with another child?
from Roger W. Harms, M.D.
Generally, it's safe to continue breast-feeding while pregnant — as long as you're careful about eating a healthy diet and diligently drinking plenty of fluids. There's an important caveat, however. Breast-feeding can trigger mild uterine contractions. Although these contractions aren't a concern during an uncomplicated pregnancy, your health care provider might discourage breast-feeding while pregnant if you have a history of preterm labor or you're experiencing uterine pain or bleeding.
If you're considering breast-feeding while pregnant, be prepared for changes your nursing child might notice. Although breast milk continues to be nutritionally sound throughout pregnancy, the content of your breast milk will change — which might change the way your milk tastes. In addition, your milk production is quite likely to decrease as your pregnancy progresses. These factors could lead your nursing child to wean on his or her own before the baby is born.
Your comfort might also be a concern. During pregnancy, nipple tenderness and breast soreness are common. The discomfort might intensify while breast-feeding. Pregnancy-related fatigue might pose challenges as well. If you want to continue breast-feeding while pregnant — or breast-feed both the baby and the older child after delivery — you might need additional support from loved ones or other close contacts. Also check with your health care provider about taking supplemental prenatal vitamins.Next question
X-ray during pregnancy: Is it safe?
- Riordan J, et al. Breastfeeding and Human Lactation. 4th ed. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett Publishers; 2010:253.
- Your guide to breastfeeding. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/breastfeeding-guide. Accessed Jan. 9, 2012.