Serena Williams just got very real about her traumatic birth experience

'EVERY mother, regardless of race, or background deserves to have a healthy pregnancy and childbirth'

From the editors of InStyle US
Words by Meghan Overdeep

Serena Williams‘s delivery of her first child, daughter Alexis Olympia, was anything but smooth, but she says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

On Facebook, Williams responded to the outpouring of support she received after she shared the details of her traumatic emergency c-section, and the near-fatal blood clots that resulted.

‘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,’ she wrote.

Williams, 36, continued: ‘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.’

The tennis great countered the post’s heavy subject matter with an adorable video of her smiling four-month-old daughter peeking at her from behind a wall. (We suspect Williams’s husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, was involved.)

‘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 colours to have the best experience they can have,’ she concluded. ‘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!!!’

Thank you for sharing your story, Serena!

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