Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 04 December |
Saint John Damascene
home iconFor Her
line break icon

What happened when Serena Williams' coach told her to stop breastfeeding

OLYMPIA OHANIAN

Serena Williams | Twitter | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 08/23/18

The tennis legend taught her coach a thing or two about motherhood.

In a recent interview with Time, the tennis star and mom-of-one revealed the difficulties of juggling her sports career with that of being a devoted breastfeeding mom to daughter Olympia, who turns one this September.

While many moms can relate to the joys of breastfeeding, not many of us can appreciate that being a champion athlete requires 100 percent dedication and focus — it really is a case of keeping your eye on the ball! But when Williams made her tennis comeback after the difficult birth of little Olympia, which nearly cost her her life, she wanted to make sure her daughter remained a priority. And for her that priority was to continue nursing her infant, despite the advice of her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou.

As she explained in the interview, she felt she had “the power to sustain the life that God gave her,” adding “You have the power to make her happy, to calm her. At any other time in your life, you don’t have this magical superpower.” Cherishing the daughter she had with husband Alexis Ohanian is obviously at the forefront of her mind yet, like most moms, she had to make the decision of when to stop breastfeeding when it suited both mom and daughter.

When Mouratoglou told her to stop nursing, Williams found it very difficult to take it, saying: “He’s not a woman, he doesn’t understand that connection, that the best time of the day for me was when I tried to feed her. I’ve spent my whole life making everyone happy, just servicing it seems like everyone. And this is something I wanted to do.”

Williams continued to nurse Olympia until she felt comfortable. “We had a really good conversation. We talked it out,” the champ shares of the moment she “discussed” with 8-month-old Olympia her decision to stop breastfeeding.

The holder of 39 major tennis titles is continuing to adapt to her new life as a mom back from maternity leave, ready to take on the tennis world once more. While the joys of motherhood have taken Williams by surprise, she is determined to be an inspirational role model for her daughter, which means getting back to center court and wowing the crowds with her strength and determination … and her impressive serve.

And like lots of moms out there, she finds it difficult to leave her baby behind, but is sure to reassure her with: “Momma has to go to the gym. But it hurts me more than it hurts you.”


SERENA WILLIAMS

Read more:
Serena Williams reminds moms that feeling inadequate is normal

Tags:
PregnancySports
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Andrea Bocelli
J-P Mauro
Andrea Bocelli to perform live Christmas conc...
FATHER JOHN FIELDS
John Burger
Priest who volunteered for COVID-19 vaccine t...
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to t...
Theresa Civantos Barber
Walk with Mary this Advent as a sweet alterna...
THOMAS A KEMPIS IMITATION OF CHRIST
John Burger
12 Historical figures who read 'The Imitation...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.