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Management of Postpartum Pain


  • Ladan Eshkevari CRNA, PhD, LAc,

  • Kimberly K. Trout CNM, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    • Address correspondence to Kimberly K. Trout, CNM, PhD, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Claire M. Fagin Hall, 420 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4217. E-mail:

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  • Jennifer Damore RN, BSN


Following the physiologic challenge of birth, many women will experience pain during the postpartum period. The goal is to achieve the right complement and dosing schedule of medications and nonpharmacologic comfort measures to successfully relieve pain, while at the same time allowing the woman to remain fully awake and aware to care for her newborn. Many of the common modalities used for nonpharmacologic pain relief in particular are based on anecdotal evidence, cultural ritual, or outdated studies. In this article, the most common sources of postpartum pain are reviewed as well as evidence-based pain management strategies, including both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic methods.