Serena Williams has revealed she suffered a horrifying post-birth health scare which required several operations and left her bedridden for six weeks.
The tennis superstar was diagnosed with blood clots in her lungs which affected her breathing and experienced major internal bleeding after becoming a new mum.
Her ordeal, divulged in a magazine interview, delayed her planned comeback and forced her to cancel plans to defend the Australian Open title she won in Melbourne last year when she was eight weeks’ pregnant.
Serena Williams and new bub on the February 2018 cover of Vogue US. Picture: Mario Testino /Vogue
Williams, 36, said her problems started after daughter Alexis Olympia was delivered by emergency caesarean section in September.
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Being handed her baby was “an amazing feeling”, Williams told US Vogue.
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“And then everything went bad.”
A pulmonary embolism was diagnosed when she had trouble breathing.
Further operations were needed for internal bleeding caused when coughing opened her C-section wound.
When she finally went home a week later she found she wasn’t even able to get out of bed.
“The feeling of not being able to help made it even harder,” she said.