- 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."
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Pregnancy after gastric bypass: Is it safe?
What can you tell me about pregnancy after gastric bypass surgery? I'm worried that my baby won't get enough nutrients since I won't be able to eat as much.
from Roger W. Harms, M.D.
It's possible to have a safe and healthy pregnancy after gastric bypass surgery. In fact, research suggests that pregnancy after weight-loss surgery might be safer for both mother and baby than pregnancy complicated by obesity.
Although more research is needed, studies suggest that weight-loss surgery might protect obese women and their babies from obesity-related problems during pregnancy. Examples include gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and preeclampsia — high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Timing is important, however. It's best to avoid pregnancy after weight-loss surgery until your weight stabilizes — typically at least 12 months after surgery. Rapid or persistent weight loss might deprive a growing baby of important nutrients, leading to low birth weight.
If you've had weight-loss surgery and are considering pregnancy, consult your health care provider for preconception planning. Depending on the type of weight-loss surgery and your specific nutritional needs, your health care provider might recommend certain nutritional supplements — such as folic acid, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, iron and calcium — in addition to a daily prenatal vitamin before and during pregnancy.
You might also consult a registered dietitian for advice on nutrition and weight gain during pregnancy.Next question
Is pregnancy safe if you have MS?
- Lesko J, et al. Pregnancy outcomes in women after bariatric surgery compared with obese and morbidly obese controls. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2012;119:547.
- Magdaleno R, et al. Pregnancy after bariatric surgery: A current view of maternal, obstetrical and perinatal challenges. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 2012;285:559.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Practice Bulletins — Obstetrics. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 105: Bariatric surgery and pregnancy. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2009;113:1405.