Northwestern Women’s Health Associates, S.C
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Tips for pain management in pregnancy from your trusted Chicago obstetrician

Pregnancy is a special, exciting time in life. This experience, however, is not without its problems. One of the issues that many women have to address at some point during their pregnancy is how to manage pain. What types of pain may require professional care? What types of pain relief are safe for the baby? Pain management in pregnancy can seem difficult, but with guidance from your trusted Chicago obstetrician, you can find safe and effective ways to create a more comfortable progression towards the birth of your child.

The general rule of thumb for pain management in pregnancy is to be selective about the forms of pain relief you consider. Rather than first reaching for medication, moms-to-be are encouraged to try relaxation techniques, massage, and even heat in certain circumstances when pain does not warrant a call to the obstetrician. It is important to note that heat should not be applied to the abdominal area during pregnancy.

When medication is needed to control pain during pregnancy, your obstetrician can guide your choices and dosage for safe use of over-the-counter or prescription drugs. Understanding the types of discomfort that may occur throughout the three trimesters of pregnancy can help you feel a bit more relaxed about the various changes that occur in your body and the discomforts that may arise.

In the first trimester of pregnancy, changing hormones can cause the breasts to become tender and the stretching of the uterus may cause sensations such as mild cramping. These discomforts are not cause for alarm. Most women describe their second trimester as a breeze, with the easing of morning sickness and improved confidence in their body. The shift in center of gravity and the loosening of joints that occur in the second trimester may lead to aches and pains that may be alleviated with rest and massage. During the third trimester, back pain may be the primary complaint due to the size of the quickly developing baby. Posture changes or supporting the abdomen with a special belt can relieve stress on the lower back and improve comfort. Often physical therapy will help.

If severe cramping, bleeding, or spotting occurs at any point in pregnancy, contact our office for evaluation of symptoms. Professional care should also be sought if fever accompanies pain or if pain is occurring during urination. In the third trimester, severe back pain that persists should be assessed, as this may indicate labor.

Pain during pregnancy does not always indicate miscarriage. Our focus is on supporting a healthy pregnancy through early intervention of minor conditions. We are happy to take calls from our patients and help them understand and manage pain as we see them through pregnancy.

Call Northwestern Women's Health Associates S.C. at to schedule a consultation with one of our friendly, knowledgeable physicians.

women’s healthcare, our team of experts is dedicated to providing every woman highest level of sensitive, specialized care

At Northwestern Women's Health Associates

your unique needs are our highest priority.

Making use of advanced technology and staying on the cutting edge of women’s healthcare, our team of experts is dedicated to providing every woman who visits our office with the highest level of sensitive, specialized care. At our office in Chicago, you can receive exceptional obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) services from any one of our highly skilled doctors, including Stanley Friedell, MD; Marc Feldstein, MD; Abbie Roth, MD; Lisa Brunengraber, MD; Regina Belmonte, MD; Sharon Wise, MD; Julianne Morton, MD; and Whitney Dunn, MD. With their combined expertise, this team of board-certified doctors at Northwestern Women's Health Associates makes it possible for you to receive efficient, personalized care from the preeminent women’s hospital in the Midwest.

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Success Stories

  • 5 Star Review
    "Wonderful experience with Dr. Julianne Morton @ NW Women's Associates. I've recommended her to countless girlfriends. Being a first time mom, I went through many physical symptoms and emotions that accompany pregnancy. She is extremely thorough, patient, and has wonderful bedside manner. I felt confident going into delivery with Dr. Morton taking the lead with my delivery. Wonderful practice!"

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  • 5 Star Review
    "Dr. Morton is absolutely amazing. She cared for me throughout my first pregnancy and we found her to be kind and caring and straightforward - could not have asked for a better experience! Dr. Dunn ended up being on call during my delivery and she was great as well. I have always found the nurses and office staff to be friendly and on top of things - very happy with the practice!"

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  • 5 Star Review
    "I had to have a laproscopic hysterectomy done by Dr. Friedell and all went fabulously! They were very detailed in pre-op which made a lot of difference. I came out of surgery feeling great and post op I was back to work within two weeks. Everyone at the practice, at the hospital, at pre-op were incredible."

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  • 5 Star Review
    "Dr.Julianne Morton is amazing! I was recommended by a friend when I moved to the Chicago area and was looking for an OB-GYN. I have seen her for two years in Chicago for my yearly exam. She is beyond kind and great at what she does. Dr.Morton makes you feel very comfortable and is such an incredible doctor! I have recommended her to all of my friends as well who need a new gyno/OB-GYN."

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  • 5 Star Review
    "Dr. Morton is a really great doctor. She has an incredible bedside manner and makes you feel comfortable. She makes sure to ask if you have any questions and will happily answer all of them with you. Would highly recommend!"

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  • 5 Star Review
    "Dr. Friedell is amazing! He helped delivered my first baby and the whole process was super smooth and stress free. All the staff in the office are super friendly too. Highly recommend!"

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  • 5 Star Review
    "I visited Dr Feldstein office yesterday. All of his stuff was very kind and nice to me. He has a professional-team, so I know I have nothing to be afraid of. Just wanted to say thanks to all the people I meet. I am in good hands."

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  • 5 Star Review
    "Dr Freidell is extremely knowledgeable, thorough and really cares about his patients. He is very good at getting to the root of the problem, especially with overlapping symptoms. He guided me through all my options and their implications. I will highly recommend him and his team."

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  • 5 Star Review
    "I love Dr. Belmonte. I have been going to her since 2006! She rocks!!! She is straight to the point, I love that about her. When I leave her office after seeing her I always feel great, like a just left a good friends house or something!"
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  • 5 Star Review

    "I can not tell you how wonderful my experiences have been. Dr. Sharon Wise is my doctor and she is fantastic. She is straightforward and honest about treatments and procedures. I enjoy her sense of humor, and I found her bedside manner when delivering my son to be excellent. "

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