Serena Williams: ‘I had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed’

The new mum is calling for change after almost dying giving birth to her daughter…

Serena Williams welcomed her first child with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in September, with the couple announcing that they were expecting just five months before.

Since the arrival of baby Alexis Olympia, the 36-year-old tennis pro has been very open about the traumatic details of the birth, which apparently almost killed her.

In a recent Op-Ed with CNN, Serena opened up about her near death experience in a bid to call for change for future mothers everywhere.

‘First my C-section wound popped open due to the intense coughing I endured as a result of the embolism,’ she explained. ‘I returned to surgery, where the doctors found a large hematoma, a swelling of clotted blood, in my abdomen. And then I returned to the operating room for a procedure that prevents clots from traveling to my lungs.’

She continued: ‘When I finally made it home to my family, I had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed.’

So why is she opening up about the traumatic details now? Well, Serena is calling for change – aware that her access to the very best medical care could have saved her life.

Just how I look at her

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

‘I am so grateful I had access to such an incredible medical team of doctors and nurses at a hospital with state-of-the-art equipment,’ she explained. ‘They knew exactly how to handle this complicated turn of events. If it weren’t for their professional care, I wouldn’t be here today.’

And that’s exactly what she wants for mothers everywhere.

‘According to UNICEF, each year, 2.6 million newborns die, tragically before their lives even really get started. Over 80% die from preventable causes,’ she explained, ending with a call to arms:

‘Every mother, everywhere, regardless of race or background deserves to have a healthy pregnancy and birth. And you can help make this a reality. Together, we can make this change. Together, we can be the change.’

We’re in.

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