Tennis star Serena Williams has talked about the struggles of balancing her sporting career with motherhood
Serena Williams, the winner of 23 Grand Slam titles and arguably the greatest female tennis player of all time, has opened up about her tough decision to stop breastfeeding her daughter in order to get back to her sporting best.
Serena gave birth to her first child, daughter Alexis Olympia (known as Olympia), with husband Alexis Ohanian in September of last year. She spoke at a pre-Wimbledon press conference earlier this month about the tough decision.
“It was interesting because all these articles, over pop culture, you hear when you breastfeed you lose weight, you’re so thin,” the 36-year-old said. “That wasn’t happening to me. Once I got to six months I felt good about [giving up breastfeeding]. Then it was just emotionally letting go. I literally sat Olympia in my arms, I talked to her, we prayed about it. I told her, ‘Look, I’m going to stop. Mommy has to do this.’ I cried a little bit, not as much as I thought I was. She was totally fine.”
Scenes from her HBO documentary series, Being Serena, saw her coach Patrick Mouratoglou tell her that unless she decides to stop breastfeeding she would not be able to go back to dominating women’s tennis.
“What I’ve learned through the experience is that every person is different, every physical body is different,” she explained, adding, “I think it’s important for us to share that message.”