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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.

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    5 Dr. Stanley Friedell, 5 Star Review By Gerilynn H.


    Dr. Regina Belmonte has been providing all the services I have needed for over 12 years. She saw me through both of my pregnancies and her expertise is vast. Even after I moved far away from the city, I still embrace and look forward to her care and services, and I refuse to switch doctors. She is worth the trip! Going through both pregnancies I had to meet with all of the Dr's. and all were wonderful. The nurses are fantastic. I have gotten 98% of what I have ever needed just talking to a nurse. So grateful for this practice and so confident with the care I receive.
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    5 Dr. Stanley Friedell, 5 Star Review By Jessica


    If you are new to Chicago or are just looking for a new physician, please make an appointment with Dr. Friedell. This is the first time in my adult life, that a doctor spent an hour with me going over my medical history, asking questions and documenting my history accurately. His assessment and subsequent surgery were all done t a T! I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him or his staff. I have had very positive experiences every time I've gone and I always leave feeling like I've been really seen and heard.
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    5 Dr. Stanley Friedell, 5 Star Review By Monica E.


    I was recommended to NWWH through a friend after a year of unsuccessful IUI with my partner. We were seen and cared for by Dr. Friedell. Best decision ever. You will definitely wait for the doctor for maybe 30 minutes past your appointment time but you will not regret it. His thoroughness and patience to explain everything to us in a way we understood was amazing. He was quick to start a game plan for us. We will definitely stick with Dr. Friedell as our OB/GYN.

    Apart from Dr. Friedell, the staff was quick to perform any lab work and ultrasounds with friendly conversation and compassion. This type of service really helps when we've gone through a rough time trying to get pregnant. Definitely make an appointment with Dr. Friedell.
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    5 Dr. Stanley Friedell, 5 Star Review By Jennifer H.


    I have been going to Dr. Friedell for over a year now and he has been nothing less than amazing. When I first came to him to discuss pregnancy, he was incredibly informative and understanding. He was also willing to take the time to answer all of my questions and help in any way he could. He just delivered my son in March and to say he went the extra mile during delivery would be an understatement. I had some complications and with any other doctor I would have had a c-section. Dr. Friedell worked with me and was extremely patient and because of his care and expertise I had a successful vaginal delivery. I cannot recommend him highly enough!
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    5 Dr. Stanley Friedell, 5 Star Review By Karima R.


    I have been going to this office for little over a month now due to some complications! I have been seen Dr. Friedell, he is very caring and always made sure he answers all my concerns. I am beyond impressed with my experience with Dr Friedell and his PA " Amber". Dr Friedell called me many times after hours to talk to me about my medical results and answers any concerns that I have.

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    I have been a patient of this practice for over 5 years now and have only positive reviews of Dr. Feldstein. He was the doctor on call and delivered my third son without any complications. He was knowledgeable, patient focused and went above and beyond to answer my questions and provide a safe and healthy delivery. I also want to note his positive bedside manner to not only my husband and I, but to the nursing staff that was working with him. He was very respectful and I am very thankful to have had him for my delivery. I would recommend this group, Dr. Feldstein in particular without reservation.
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    I switched to Dr. Roth mid pregnancy due to health insurance reasons and it was probably the best decision I have ever made in my life. She is definitely warm and funny but also extremely competent and knowledgeable. I would say what makes her stand out from other doctors is how calm and not reactive she is in even the most dire situations. My son was in serious fetal distress (unexpected and not preventable) and she was very calm and reassuring as we literally ran to the OR for my c section. With the rise of c sections today I feel Dr. Roth is one of the few remaining fabulous ob's that truly plans for normal vaginal births (your choice if you want an epi or not) and although I needed a c section I knew it was truly necessary. I could not speak more highly of her, not only did she save my sons life but she made me feel safe, secure and empowered even when decisions and actions were out of my hands.
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    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.