Serena Williams reveals: ‘I almost died giving birth’
The GOAT relives her harrowing childbirth experience in a candid essay.
Serena Williams has opened up about her near death experience during the birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr in September for the sake of mothers everywhere.
In an op-ed written for CNN the 36-year-old, who married her Reddit cofounder husband, Alexis Ohanian in a luxe ceremonyin November, has decided to relive her terrifying childbirth to shine a light on the state of healthcare for mothers and children globally.
Not mincing her words, one of the greatest athletes to ever walk the planet opens her essay with, “I almost died after giving birth to my daughter, Olympia”.
She continues: “My daughter was born by emergency C-section after her heart rate dropped dramatically during contractions. The surgery went smoothly.
“But what followed just 24 hours after giving birth were six days of uncertainty.”
The 23-time Grand Slam winner goes on to explain that after the initial birthing complications she also was struck down with a pulmonary embolism that led to multiple surgeries and meant she “had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed.”
“I am lucky to have survived,” she wrote in her article on Tuesday (Feb. 20). “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.”
Making a wider point about mothers’ health, Serena cites statistics that black women in the US face higher birth mortality rates than their white counterparts, and that death during childbirth is a too common occurrence in poorer countries.
“Every mother, everywhere, regardless of race or background deserves to have a healthy pregnancy and birth,” she wrote, before urging people to donate to organisations who will make women’s health a priority.
Williams hasn’t yet said if she’ll compete at this year’s remaining three Grand Slams, but thanked the medical team who kept her alive so she could be there for her baby.
Williams wrote: “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.”