After suffering through a traumatic birth – which resulted in an emergency c-section when the baby’s heartbeat plummeted – Serena Williams recently revealed she then suffered potentially fatal blood clots.
Thankfully, due to her history of pulmonary embolisms, the tennis ace immediately recognised the symptoms and demanded a blood thinner and a CT scan – a move that may have saved her life.
But despite her terrifying experiences, the 36-year-old insists she’s glad she went through what she did whilst delivering three-month-old daughter Olympia.
Now, she wants to use her experience to raise awareness of the increased risk of death that black women face during pregnancy.
“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 on Facebook.
“These aren’t just stories: according to the CDC, (Center for Disease Control) black women are over three 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,” she said.
Stating that every mother – regardless of race or background – deserves a healthy pregnancy and birth, she said that her own awful experience actually ended up becoming something positive.
“My personal experience was not great but it was my experience and I’m happy it happened to me,” she continued.
“It made me stronger and it made me appreciate women – both women with and without kids – even more. We are powerful!!!
“I want to thank all of you who have opened up through online comments and other platforms to tell your story. I encourage you to continue to tell those stories. This helps. We can help others. Our voices are our power.”