36-year-old tennis pro Serena Williams previously opened up about her postpartum health complications in her new cover story for Vogue, and on Monday, she took to Facebook to thank fans for their response.
“I didn’t expect that sharing our family’s story of Olympia’s birth and all of 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,” the legendary athlete wrote.
Noting that black women are more than three times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes, Williams said, “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.”
She added, “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.”
Though her own issues, which included an emergency C-section and postpartum blood clots, were definitely scary, Williams is grateful to have faced the adversity head-on.
“My personal experience was not great but it was MY experience and I’m happy it happened to me,” she wrote. “It made me stronger and it made me appreciate women — both women with and without kids — even more. We are powerful!!!”