I'm a firm believer that characters should be put through hell. They should experience pain. If not physically from an injury, then mentally from whatever your character goes through.
Merely giving your characters pain and hardships isn’t enough, though. You have to follow through on it with the appropriate emotions. Pain usually brings fear, anger, or sadness.
If your character goes through any kind of physical pain, show his/her fear. Experiencing pain, especially unknown pain is very scary. Share your characters worry over what could be wrong.
If your character is pregnant, the fear should be magnified to incorporate the unborn baby. Any pain a woman endures while pregnant is utterly terrifying. Is the baby okay? Am I okay? Will I miscarry? Each of these thoughts will rattle her to her core. In whatever she does, every pang (no matter how small) should bring worry for her baby.
When someone goes through pain inflicted by someone else, such as a hurtful act or harmful words, anger is a common reaction. Let your character’s anger build and give them a release. It could be yelling or beating on a punching bag.
If the pain brings sadness, such as the loss of a child, ride the wave of grief from beginning to end. You can't dilute it. You have to bring it out in full force.
No matter what kind of pain your character faces, follow it through with fear, anger, and/or sadness
QUESTIONS: What pains have you given to your characters? What pains have you endured?