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Though she usually competes as a singles player on the court, tennis champion and Vogue cover star Serena Williams is a team player when it comes to the parenting world.
After revealing her post-delivery medical scare in Vogue’s February issue, Williams took to Facebook on Monday to share her concern about women's health care and to thank fans for their inspiring response to her personal story.
“I didn’t expect that sharing our family’s story of Olympia’s birth and all of (my) 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,” Williams captioned an adorably playful video of her 4-month-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
Williams cited a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report stating that black women are three to four times more likely to suffer a pregnancy-related death than white women.
“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,” Williams wrote. “Let me be clear: EVERY mother, regardless of race, or background deserves to have a healthy pregnancy and childbirth. I personally want all women of all colors to have the best experience they can have.”
Women in the U.S. are more likely to die from childbirth or pregnancy-related causes than other women in high-income countries, according to the CDC.
After experiencing her own postpartum emergency care due to a blood clot, Williams reflected on what she went through.
“My personal experience was not great but it was MY experience and I'm happy it happened to me. It made me stronger and it made me appreciate women — both women with and without kids — even more. We are powerful!!!"
Williams feels grateful for the reaction to her Vogue story.
“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,” Williams concluded. “This helps. We can help others. Our voices are our power.”