You’ve likely heard your pregnant clients complain about not sleeping well. Encourage them to move more outside of their sessions with you. New findings show that doing unsupervised low-impact cardio and aerobic exercise at least three times per week in the second trimester of pregnancy can help women sleep better and feel more connected to their unborn child.

Researchers from the National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Taiwan conducted the randomized controlled trial with 140 pregnant women, assigning them to either a control group of routine prenatal care or an exercise group that received a 20-minute, low-impact cardio video. Members of the active group were advised to do the routine three times a week for 3 months. The scientists collected data at 4 weeks, at study end (at 12 weeks) and 4 weeks after the study ended.

Data analysis showed that women in the exercise group experienced better sleep quality at each data collection point and had a significantly higher score for maternal-fetal attachment at 4 weeks post-test. Study authors recommend that pregnant women be encouraged to perform low-impact aerobic exercise on a regular basis.

The study appeared in Complementary Therapies in Medicine (2021; 57 [102671]).

See also: Diet and Exercise During Pregnancy Pays Off