Serena Williams opens up about stopping breastfeeding daughter and her battle to lose the pregnancy weight: "I cried a little bit"
The tennis legend also admitted she was initially extremely shocked to find out that her competitive edge was back and that she almost wanted to feel the pressure again.
Serena Williams might be back to smashing balls in the tennis court, but the Wimbledon champion had breastfeeding and the challenges women and new moms face on her mind as she made her way to a press conference on Sunday. Mother to 10-month-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Williams had a candid conversation about motherhood at a Wimbledon pre-tournament news gathering.
Williams revealed to the journalists at the press meet that the hardest part about nursing her daughter Olympia was deciding when to stop breastfeeding her baby. She even said that it was quite a hard decision to make, and she even cried a little before ultimately stopping her breastfeeding schedule after six months.
"That was a different thing. 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," said Williams, as per Daily Mail. And despite her tears, Williams confessed that her daughter "was fine. She was totally fine."
The tennis maestro said that she had planned to stop breastfeeding her baby girl at the beginning of the year, but somehow the plans kept changing. "I had planned on stopping in January. Then January became March. March became April. I was still breastfeeding," the tennis star said Sunday. "For me, it was really important to make it through three months, then it was important to make it to four months. I was like, 'OK, I can do six months.'"
Williams also admitted that she had heard about losing weight through breastfeeding but wasn't so sure of it, and she switched to a vegan diet in order to shed some of her baby weight, but nothing changed for her. "I was vegan, I didn't eat sugar. I was totally eating completely healthily... and I wasn't at the weight that I would have been had I not breastfed."
"I was training and everything," she explained, "I feel like everyone says, 'You're so thin when you breastfeed.'"
After one woman in the room responded to Williams saying, "That's a lie,” the tennis star replied, “What I've learned through the experience -- everybody is different, every person is different, every physical body is different. "For my body, it didn't work, no matter how much I worked out, no matter how much I did, it didn't work for me."
However, what ended up working for Williams was the exact opposite of what she had been told. She revealed that she dropped 10 pounds in a week once she had stopped breastfeeding her daughter. "It was crazy. I just kept dropping. That's when I learned that everything was different," she said. "Sorry to go on about that, but I wanted to say that so women out there know that's not true ... I think it's important for us to share that message."
The tennis legend also admitted to the crowd of journalists that she was initially extremely shocked to find out that her competitive edge was back even after months of nursing and embracing motherhood. She said, "It definitely surprises me. I have this amazing child, all these grand slams... it was all super bonus. I definitely feel a lot less pressure out there but I'm a little bit shocked at how much I almost want that pressure."
Meanwhile, Williams' husband Alexis Ohanian cannot stop gushing about his wonderful wife, and how she's always leaving him in awe of her "resilience and toughness" by juggling between motherhood and her successful tennis career.
The 35-year-old founder of Reddit said, "She's always had this resilience and toughness, mentally and physically, but now she has this 'mom strength button' that she pushes and it's just so powerful." He then admitted that he has no plans of ever playing tennis with his world champion of a wife since Williams' superpowers had been taken up a notch since she became a mother.
Ohanian also spoke about how he managed to juggle his paternity leave after the birth of Olympia, who he revealed has "grace and a lot of swagger", meanwhile also praising flexible leave for fathers. The father-of-one admitted that staying at home combined with his days in the office ensured that he never missed a beat when it came to his daughter's safety and well-being in her first few months.