Serena Williams Says She Almost Died After Giving Birth

Serena Williams gave birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in September. Now Williams, 36, gives a first-person account of the complications she faced during and after childbirth in an opinion piece for CNN published on Tuesday. “I almost died after giving birth to my daughter, Olympia,” the piece begins. Williams writes that her daughter was born by emergency C-section when the baby’s hear rate dropped dramatically during contractions. Just 24 hours after the surgery, Williams suffered a pulmonary embolism, a condition where one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot. The pulmonary embolism Williams suffered after giving birth led to other complications, saying “When I finally made it home to my family, I had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed.”  Williams considers herself fortunate and is drawing attention to the issue among mothers in the U.S. and the world who don’t have access to quality medical care.

Serena Williams: I almost died giving birth to my daughter


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