While we love seeing images of Serena Williams and her gorgeous baby daughter, Olympia, the seasoned tennis player has revealed that she almost died due to childbirth complications.
Writing a column for CNN, Williams explained that despite having an easy pregnancy, she had to have an emergency C-section after her heart-rate dropped, something she feared would occur due to her medical history.
“It began with a pulmonary embolism, which is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs becomes blocked by a blood clot,” she explained. “First my C-section wound popped open due to the intense coughing I endured as a result of the embolism. I returned to surgery, where the doctors found a large hematoma, a swelling of clotted blood, in my abdomen.”
“Then I returned to the operating room for a procedure that prevents clots from travelling to my lungs. When I finally made it home to my family, I had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed.”
Williams thanks the “incredible medical team of doctors and nurses at a hospital with state-of-the-art equipment,” and encouraged people to donate to UNICEF and similar organisations which help women and babies in need.
She also provided sobering statistics regarding deaths during childbirth, writing that black women are three times more likely to die from childbirth-related causes while 2.6 million newborns die each year, 80% of which are from preventable causes.
Both Williams and Olympia are doing well now, with both her and husband Alexis Ohanian sharing photos of their daughter across their social media accounts.