Since the age of 14, the mother has been playing professional tennis. With decades of experience under her belt, she’s seen close to everything. As a professional athlete, businesswoman, and UNICEF goodwill ambassador, there are very few things she can’t accomplish. However, when she gave birth to daughter, who turned five in December, she nearly lost it all.
“I almost died after giving birth to my daughter, Olympia,” she wrote. “My daughter was born by emergency C-section after her heart rate dropped dramatically during contractions. The surgery went smoothly…But what followed just 24 hours after giving birth were six days of uncertainty.”
Continuing, Wiliams began describing the health complications that characterized her post party experience. According to the mother, she had pulmonary embolism, a condition that constricts the lungs with blood clots. Due to the coughing that occurred because of this condition, her C-section wound opened and she was rushed into surgery.
Although she was grateful to have a successful surgery and a positive medical experience, Williams started investigating the disparities black women during the childbirth process. She explained, “When they have complications like mine, there are often no drugs, health facilities or doctors to save them.”
Serena Williams says every mother is entitled to a healthy pregnancy and birth
With this being taken into consideration, Williams is making it a goal to ensure other women have the same access to medical care that she had during her child birth. “Every mother, everywhere, regardless of race or background deserves to have a healthy pregnancy and birth,” the Grand Slam champion stated.
Williams noted that the easiest way for everyday people to help eliminate this issue is by demanding change. More specifically, she encouraged readers to donate to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, a humanitarian organization she works with to provide the less fortunate with equal opportunities.
“You can donate to UNICEF and other organizations around the world working to make a difference for mothers and babies in need. In doing so, you become part of this narrative – making sure that one day, who you are or where you are from does not decide whether your baby gets to live or to die,” the tennis star shared.
The mother concluded her influential essay with the sentiments, “Together, we can make this change. Together, we can be the change.”
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