Low-Risk Pain Management Options

Talk to your doctor about ways to manage or relieve your postpartum pain. Here are a few options they might recommend:

  • Ibuprofen (Motrin®) & acetaminophen (Tylenol®)
  • Light activity (walking)
  • Numbing sprays such as Dermoplast®
  • Witch-hazel pads such as Tucks®
  • Sitz baths (sitting in a few inches of warm water)
  • Cold pack/heating pad

Do I need Opioids?

Opioids are commonly prescribed for postpartum pain, however they have side effects and risks. Your doctor can help you decide if opioids are right for you.

Possible Side Effects:

  • Constipation
  • Opioids passing to baby through breastmilk
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness


  • Dependence
  • Addiction
  • Overdose

Common opioids include Oxycodone (Percocet®, OxyContin®) and Hydrocodone (Norco®, Vicodin®). If you are taking opioids, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about safe ways to manage side effects and reduce risks.

Medication Disposal

If you are prescribed opioids, you can dispose of any unused medication at your local medication drop box or safe household disposal method. Click here for more information on medication disposal methods.


  1. Paul A. Moore, Kathleen M. Ziegler, Ruth D. Lipman, Anita Aminoshariae, Alonso Carrasco-Labra, Angelo Mariotti. Benefits and harms associated with analgesic medications used in the management of acute dental pain. The Journal of the American Dental Association, 2018; 149 (4): 256 DOI: 10.1016/j.adaj.2018.02.012
  2. Hendrickson RG, McKeown NJ. Is maternal opioid use hazardous to breast-fed infants?. Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2012;50:1–14

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