When Serena Williams sat down with Vogue to open up about the health challenges she faced following the birth of her daughter Olympia, she actually didn't think the interview to have such a resounding, inspiring, positive effect. The tennis champ took to Facebook on Monday, January 15 to explain that she's been floored by the response.
“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 wrote alongside a super-cute video of her 4-month-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
Williams went on to note Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) stats 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."
She then expressed gratitude for her experience, no matter how difficult it may have been. "My personal experience was not great but it was MY experience and I'm happy it happened to me," the elite athlete said. "It made me stronger and it made me appreciate women — both women with and without kids — even more. We are powerful!!!"
It's so awesome that the Vogue story has inspired other women to share their stories. As Williams points out, these shared experiences help. "We can help others," she wrote. "Our voices are our power." Preach, mama!