Published: Wed, February 21, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Serena Williams Reveals She Nearly Died During Traumatic Childbirth

Serena Williams Reveals She Nearly Died During Traumatic Childbirth

The 23-time Grand Slam victor 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".

Williams, who hasn't played since announcing her pregnancy with now husband Alexis Ohanian, wrote that her pregnancy was "pretty easy" but complications started when her daughter had to be delivered by an emergency C-section after the child's heart rate dropped dramatically during contractions.

Williams raised a few eyebrows a year ago when she won the Australian Open, her 23rd Grand Slam title, while eight weeks pregnant. The tennis star revealed that she nearly died after she suffered several health complications.

She contacted medical professionals, but the coughing from the embolism got so bad, her C-section wound popped open and she required another surgery.

She had surgery, where doctors found a large hematoma in her abdomen and returned to the operating room for a procedure that prevents clots from travelling to her lungs.

"It [post-natal complications] 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 continued.

After spending the first six weeks of motherhood in bed, Williams is back on her feet and sharing her baby's first moments with the masses.

Williams has previously said she had been bedridden for six weeks following the birth, but had not provided details until now.

Williams wrote an op-ed for CNN on Tuesday, opening up on her near-death experience and advocating for medical resources to help women in developing nations.

"Around the world, thousands of women struggle to give birth in the poorest countries". Williams has a history of blood cot issues and knew to immediately seek medical help when her breathing became hard, however, the embolism led to other complications. Olympia attended her mom's match on February 11 at the 2018 Fed Cup in Asheville, N.C. Over 80 percent die from preventable causes. "They knew exactly how to handle this complicated turn of events". And Williams herself testified to the unfairness of that: "Every mother, everywhere, regardless of race or background deserves to have a healthy pregnancy and birth", she said.

"We're not spending a day apart until she's 18", she told the magazine. "You can donate to UNICEF and other organizations around the world working to make a difference for mothers and babies in need".

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