Serena Williams Gets Candid About "Postpartum Emotions"

By Victoria Kim 08/09/18

By being open about her issues, the tennis star is bringing awareness to postpartum depression.

Serena Williams

Tennis champ and new mom, Serena Williams, is shedding the shame of struggling with “postpartum emotions.”

The 23-time Grand Slam champion is in the midst of a rocky comeback after giving birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. last September.

In July, Williams lost the chance to win her 24th Grand Slam title after ending this year’s Wimbledon tournament as runner-up. And she just pulled out of the Rogers Cup in Canada (August 4-12) citing “personal reasons.”

But in a Monday Instagram post, the tennis star shared that she was struggling with postpartum depression (or PPD).

“Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom,” Williams wrote in the caption.

“I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to 3 years if not dealt with. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal.”

PPD is a type of depression that occurs in women after giving birth. According to one study, postpartum depression affects about 1 in 7 women.

“It’s totally normal to feel like I’m not doing enough for my baby,” Williams continued on Instagram. “We have all been there. I work a lot, I train, and I’m trying to be the best athlete I can be.

"However, that means although I have been with her every day of her life, I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes.

"I’m here to say: If you are having a rough day or week—it’s ok—I am too! There’s always [tomorrow]!”

Williams has been candid about the challenges of being a new mom. Many of the commenters on her Instagram post are fellow moms who can relate.

By talking through her issues, the tennis star is bringing awareness to postpartum depression that she says is needed. In a June interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK, she said, “I think people need to talk about it more because it’s almost like the fourth trimester, it’s part of the pregnancy.”

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