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The Importance of Rest in Labor & Life

On February 6th, my husband and I welcomed our daughter, Ariadne Rose, into this world. I’m honestly still in disbelief. I am also still feeling the impact of the labor on my body and in my being.

It was a very difficult labor.

I know many of you might be surprised to hear that, given the years of fitness under my belt and the level of my performance. Not to mention, all the embodiment and breath work I do.

But yes, it was a rough labor to say the least. One that resulted in an emergency C-section - not at all what I was expecting would happen.

From the onset of my contractions early that Saturday morning, I was compressing Ariadne’s cord and her heart rate was dropping as a result of that compression. In light of this, my doctor decided it’d be a good idea to augment labor and get her out of there as soon as possible. Within a couple of hours, I was in hard labor with very little time between contractions.

Through the agony of labor, I remember thinking that I was being “robbed” of my rest periods. You see, I had read a lot on labor, and the thing that cut through my terror of it was the fact that I was going to get a rest between contractions. Through my training, I knew I could get back to a resting state quickly.

However, I was getting virtually no rest between contractions.

Then something strange happened: my body went into a contraction and did not come out of it. This went on for 8 straight minutes before the doctor decided to take me to the OR and cut the baby out via C-section.

Obviously we all survived and it was a happy ending, but I would never allow this kind of hardship to go by without taking some lesson from it. I got to asking myself: what is my relationship to rest? Historically, my attitude has been that rest is unnecessary for me. Even when planning my maternity leave, I was planning more about how and when I would return!

That attitude showed up on the day of my labor in my contractions.

I’m not saying I caused the events of that day - it is out of my scope and education level to make such a statement, but I realize that the rest phase of laboring is ESSENTIAL to the success of the birth process. Just as essential as the work phase.

I am keeping this in mind as I move through this next chapter of my life and as I take this time to enjoy my daughter and husband. Anytime a nagging thought of what I could or should be doing arrives, I remind myself that I am doing exactly what I need to be doing: resting.

At Comfy Fitness we honor rest by including several restorative modalities in our weekly lineup of classes, including Clinical Somatics, TRE, Qigong and Slow Deep Stretch. We invite you to find one that speaks to you and practice resting. It is the thing that will get you through the hard parts of fitness and life.


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