- 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 (19)
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- Vaccines during pregnancy: Are they safe?
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- 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)
- Chickenpox and pregnancy: What are the concerns?
- Pregorexia: A legitimate problem during pregnancy?
- Cervical length: Why does it matter during pregnancy?
- see all in Pregnancy problems
Nausea during pregnancy: A good thing?
Is nausea during pregnancy a good sign?
from Roger W. Harms, M.D.
Nausea and vomiting during the first trimester of pregnancy, also called morning sickness, can be signs of a healthy pregnancy. A recent study of more than 2,400 pregnant women associated nausea and vomiting during the first trimester with a reduced risk of early pregnancy loss — particularly for women age 30 and older.
Shortly after a fertilized egg attaches to your uterine lining, your body begins to produce a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). While the cause of nausea during pregnancy isn't clear, nausea typically begins when production of HCG begins. As a result, nausea during pregnancy might indicate that you're experiencing the normal climb in pregnancy hormones needed for a healthy pregnancy.
Other theories suggest that nausea during pregnancy might:
- Reduce fetal exposure to potentially dangerous substances in your diet
- Encourage you to eat foods that contain certain nutrients, such as those rich in carbohydrates
- Prompt you to adjust your activity level to favor maternal and fetal tissue growth
A lack of nausea during pregnancy, however, isn't necessarily a cause for concern. Some women simply might be immune to the effects of pregnancy hormones. In addition, nausea can sometimes signal a problem. For instance, severe nausea and vomiting can indicate a molar pregnancy — when the placenta develops into an abnormal mass of cysts rather than becoming a viable pregnancy — or hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition that causes you to lose weight and body fluids and might require treatment with intravenous fluids and medications.
If you're concerned about morning sickness or wonder whether your morning sickness is normal, consult your health care provider.Next question
Fundal height: An accurate sign of fetal growth?
- Chan RL, et al. Severity and duration of nausea and vomiting symptoms in pregnancy and spontaneous abortion. Human Reproduction. 2010;25:2907.
- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 7, 2010.
- Jewell D. Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. American Family Physician. 2003;68:143.
- Morning sickness. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp126.cfm. Accessed Oct. 18, 2010.
- Refuerzo JS, et al. Clinical features and diagnostic evaluation of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (hyperemesis gravidarum and morning sickness). http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 21, 2010.
- Coad J, et al. Nutrient insult in early pregnancy. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2002;61:51.
- Early pregnancy loss: Miscarriage and molar pregnancy. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp090.cfm. Accessed Nov. 30, 2010.