Pain Control after Delivery

Pain Control after Delivery


Delivery is a very physical process and your body has gone through a lot of changes. Pain, from labor, to after delivery, and the postpartum period, is a very real experience for many women and pain relief is helpful. The goal is for you to manage your pain in a way that allows you to still care for yourself.

Pain is the most intense the first 2 or 3 days after delivery and then lessens. Your doctor will order pain medicine for you after delivery to keep you comfortable for the next few days, but you may not have total pain relief. If your medicine does not provide enough pain relief, talk with your nurse about your pain. The goal of pain medicine is to ask for pain medicine before the pain becomes too strong. Intense pain may prevent you from breathing deeply, coughing, and walking, which help with your recovery. Tell your doctor if you have any medicine allergies.

Medicine may be given to reduce discomfort from:

  • General muscle aches or after birth cramps
  • Cesarean abdominal incision or vaginal perineal stitches
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Breast engorgement and nipple soreness

Your nurse will ask you often to rate your pain. Use the scale and choose the number (0 to 10), description, or face that best matches the pain you feel now.


    Pain Control

    Pain, left untreated, can affect sleeping, healing, and caring for yourself and others.  Take medicine only as directed by your doctor.

    • When you go home, you may be told to use ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain. Do not take more medicine than you are told to take.
    • To reduce pain and swelling on your perineum: Soak your perineal area in warm water several times a day (sitz bath). Do not bathe in this water. Use benzocaine spray (Dermaplast) as directed for comfort.
    • For constipation or to reduce hemorrhoid discomfort:, use laxatives and stool softeners as directed by your doctor. Use witch hazel pads (Tucks) as directed for comfort. Over the counter creams are also available for hemorrhoid relief.
    • When taking medicines at home, always remember to keep them out of the reach of children and pets.


    © 2000 – July 24, 2019, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

    This handout is for informational purposes only. Talk with your doctor or healthcare team if you have any questions about your care. For more health information, call the Library for Health Information at 614-293-3707 or email: