Serena Williams Says Childbirth Complications Allowed Her to Emerge ‘Stronger’
Serena Williams shared a touching letter thanking fans for extending their empathy and support when it was revealed the tennis pro suffered difficulties after giving birth to her daughter last September.
"I didn't expect that sharing our family's story of Olympia's birth and all of complications after giving birth would start such an outpouring of discussion from women—especially black women—who have faced similar complications and women whose problems go unaddressed," the Grand Slam star wrote on her Facebook page Monday (January 15), before informing followers that these harrowing realities often afflict women of color during pregnancy.
“These aren't just stories: according to the CDC, (Center for Disease Control) black women are over 3 times more likely than White women to die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related causes. We have a lot of work to do as a nation and I hope my story can inspire a conversation that gets us to close this gap."
In her February 2018 profile for Vogue released last week (January 10), the 36-year-old athlete opened up about the myriad medical complications that followed her daughter Olympia’s emergency C-section birth, including small blood clots discovered within her lungs and a large hematoma that had been flooding her abdomen — medical setbacks that would keep Williams bedridden for the first six weeks after giving birth.
"Let me be clear: EVERY mother, regardless of race, or background deserves to have a healthy pregnancy and childbirth. I personally want all women of all colors to have the best experience they can have,” Williams continued. “My personal experience was not great but it was MY experience and I'm happy it happened to me. It made me stronger and it made me appreciate women—both women with and without kids—even more. We are powerful!!!"
Gratefully, Williams and her little one appear to be in good health according to a video the superstar shared with her letter of a smiling and boisterous Olympia while daddy Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is away.