Skip to content

Post natal – Fatigue, Sleep and Post natal Physical Activity

Fatigue, Sleep and Post natal Physical Activity    

Evidence Summary  

 A very small body of studies of varying methodological design and quality have investigated this topic. Activity such as home-based Pilates or aerobic “gymnastic” exercise (based on seated and standing yoga poses) is suggested to be effective in reducing postpartum fatigue, whilst being both feasible and safe in the early postpartum period following uncomplicated delivery and amongst women in good health. [1, 2] Further, there is evidence of improved sleep quality and duration from participation in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during the postpartum period. [3]  

Quality of Evidence  


Strength of Recommendation   

Strong (1b) 


Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity can be recommended as being effective in improving sleep quality and duration in postpartum women who have no contraindications to participating in this level of activity. Home-based interventions are a feasible option, including Pilates and yoga, which have been suggested to reduce postpartum fatigue. This recommendation is based on limited available evidence.  


  1. Yang, C. L., & Chen, C. H. (2018). Effectiveness of aerobic gymnastic exercise on stress, fatigue, and sleep quality during postpartum: a pilot randomized controlled trial. International journal of nursing studies, 77, 1-7.  
  2. Ashrafinia, F., Mirmohammadali, M., Rajabi, H., Kazemnejad, A., Haghighi, K. S., & Amelvalizadeh, M. (2015). Effect of Pilates exercises on postpartum maternal fatigue. Singapore medical journal, 56(3), 169.  
  3. Vladutiu, C. J., Evenson, K. R., Borodulin, K., Deng, Y., & Dole, N. (2014). The association between physical activity and maternal sleep during the postpartum period. Maternal and child health journal, 18(9), 2106-2114.