Serena Williams talks about her emergency caesarean

The new mum opened up about the physical and emotional problems she had after her c-section.

A photo of Serena Williams holding her daughter Alexis Olympia

Pregnancy news, 12/01/2018
Image credit: @serenawilliams via Instagram

During an interview with Vogue, Serena Williams spoke about how she was put on bed rest following the birth of her daughter. She also talked about some of the emotional and physical difficulties she faced.

In labour, Serena's daughter's heart-rate slowed down drastically, which lead to her being delivered by emergency c-section.

Despite this, the surgery “went off without a hitch” – the new dad cut the cord, and mum had skin to skin time with her newborn baby daughter.

However, Serena found herself short of breath the next day. After a scan, the doctors discovered that she had blood clots settling on her lungs. This lead to several procedures and a range of further difficulties.

In order to rest and heal, Serena was bedbound for the next six weeks. This was not an ideal situation for someone who is used to exercising everyday (even when heavily pregnant). This, combined with natural mood changes after birth, was tough on the athlete.

“No one talks about the low moments – the pressure you feel, the incredible let down every time you hear the baby cry. I’ve broken down I don’t know how many times. Or I’ll get angry about the crying, then sad about being angry, and then guilty, like, why do I feel so sad when I have a beautiful baby? The emotions are insane.” Serena Williams

Our midwife Kate says:

“In the UK, about 1 in 4 babies will be delivered by a caesarean section for a huge variety of reasons.  Whilst such a decision is usually not an easy one, it can be essential in order to ensure the safety of mother and/or baby.  As with any surgery, there are some risks, but the complications Serena had are not common. Where possible, a full and informed discussion should take place when making the decision about how your baby will be born.”

If you have experienced a traumatic birth, talk with your midwife or anyone you feel comfortable with, to ensure that you get the support you need.

Find out more about ceasarean sections

Find out more about your emotions after birth

More about Serena Williams

More pregnancy news and blogs

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