- 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)
- 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
Pregnancy and hot tubs: What's the risk?
Is it safe to use a hot tub during pregnancy?
from Roger W. Harms, M.D.
Pregnancy and hot tubs can be a dangerous combination.
Spending 10 minutes or more in a hot tub can raise your body temperature to 102 F (38.9 C), causing a condition known as hyperthermia. Some studies have shown an increased risk of miscarriage and neural tube defects — serious abnormalities of the brain or spinal cord — in the babies of women who experience high temperatures during the first four to six weeks of pregnancy.
If you might be pregnant and plan to use a hot tub, or you choose to use a hot tub during pregnancy, take these steps to reduce the risks:
- Limit time in the hot tub to less than 10 minutes.
- Avoid sitting near the inlet that provides newly heated water.
- Avoid spending time in the hot tub once a week or more.
- Get out of the hot tub if you start to sweat or feel any discomfort.
- Stay out of the hot tub if you aren't in good health or you already have an elevated temperature due to fever, exercise, or previous hot tub or sauna use.
If you used a hot tub for a lengthy period of time early in pregnancy, consider talking to your doctor about ways to detect neural tube defects during pregnancy.Next question
Baby brain: Does it exist?
- Chambers CD. Risks of hyperthermia associated with hot tub or spa use by pregnant women. Birth Defects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology. 2006;76:569.
- Li De-Kun, et al. Hot tub use during pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2003;158:931.
- Hyperthermia and pregnancy. Organization of Teratology Information Specialists. http://www.otispregnancy.org/files/hyperthermia.pdf. Accessed Sept. 4, 2012.
- Moretti ME, et al. Maternal hyperthermia and the risk for neural tube defects in offspring: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Epidemiology. 2005;16:216.
- Shahrukh Hashmi S, et al. Maternal fever during early pregnancy and the risk of oral clefts. Birth Defects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology. 2010;88:186.