A lot of new moms feel pressured to bounce back to their pre-baby bodies soon after giving birth — and that even includes Serena Williams.
The tennis superstar opened up about some body insecurities she dealt with after welcoming her first child, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., last September.
She revealed in a recent interview with Time magazine that she used a “waist trainer” to make herself appear slimmer on Instagram after giving birth.
It’s a decision she now regrets, she said.
“I hated that I fell victim to that,” she told the magazine. “It puts a lot of pressure on women, young and old.”
Williams, 36, has been candid about her post-pregnancy journey, whether it’s dealing with body image issues, a series of postpartum health complications, or the decision to stop breastfeeding.
She made the emotional choice to stop nursing Olympia after eight months because she wanted to get her body back into top athletic shape, she told Time.
“I looked at Olympia, and I was like, ‘Listen, Mommy needs to get her body back, so Mommy’s going to stop now,’” she said. “We had a really good conversation. We talked it out.”
Williams also opened up about the discrimination she has faced over the years because of her natural build. She has had to deal with some cruel remarks about her body, and she also believes she has been drug tested more than many of her fellow players because people don’t believe she could be that strong and muscular without using performance-enhancing drugs.
Serena Williams opens up about hardships of motherhood in TIME magazineAug. 16, 201800:45
“I was born this way,” she told Time. “They’re like, ‘Oh, she can’t be that great, she must be doing something.’ I don’t even lift weights … It’s all God, you know.”
Going forward, Williams seems determined to focus only on herself, her family, and her career. She is currently training hard for the U.S. Open, which begins on August 27 this year.
“I’m not done yet, simple,” Williams said. “My story doesn’t end here.”