It's been a little over a year since Serena Williams, tennis player, activist, and all around boss gave birth to her first child — a daughter named Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. Although Williams' job as a tennis player revolves around her staying active, it took her a while to get back to her pre-pregnancy weight. So, to hear that Serena Williams embraced her body after giving birth, is something that is so incredibly refreshing — and is something that new moms should hear.
In Allure's newest Body and Mind issue, Williams opened up about both of those things (and motherhood, of course) sharing her own experiences with readers dying to know more about her life as a mom. After Williams and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, welcomed their daughter into the world in September 2017, Williams was honest about how there was pressure for her body to "bounce back" to her pre-pregnancy weight. She told TIME earlier this August that she "fell victim" to this and the pressure to share it with the rest of the world.
But now, almost a year and a half after giving birth, Williams has a different outlook on her postpartum body. She told Allure that she feels "pretty good" about her body but it took her a while to get to the place she is today.
"I worked hard at it in the past eight months to get back from the baby," she said. "It hasn't been easy. I'm not 21 anymore. But I did it slow and steady."
Williams continued, telling Allure that coming to terms with her body was much better with her daughter in her life. Williams said:
After I came out [of the hospital], I had a stomach, but I thought, "This is kind of cool." I have a stomach because a baby was there.
This sense of purpose has extended far beyond her body. Williams told Allure that Olympia has been her "greatest investment in herself" and based on interviews that the mom has given, it's clear that her daughter gives her so much joy and purpose. They truly share a bond unlike any other.
This past July, Williams tweeted that she had not spent a single day apart from her daughter after giving birth to her earlier that year, according to People. So, needless to say, Williams definitely invests all of her life in her daughter.
And Williams plans on investing so much more in Olympia's future, too. In the same interview with Allure, she revealed that she plans on telling her daughter that she's beautiful, and teaching her about it, too. Williams said:
When I tell her she's beautiful, I want to teach her that she's beautiful from the inside. Giving is beauty. Being kind and humble is the ultimate beauty.
This isn't the first time that Williams has talked about her post-baby body. In July, Williams told The Thirty by Byrdie that the post-pregnancy "snapback" is so overrated and she is still working on herself, which is so normal. Williams said:
It's no secret. It is what it is. And I'm proud of my tummy. It pokes out a lot more than it used to, but I'm still coming back from having a baby. I just feel like this whole story about having a baby and coming back two days after and looking better than before is not teaching the right way or the natural way or the believable way.
These are words that every new mom needs to hear. Bodies are things that women can be proud of, especially since they helped create such amazing children. Like Williams, everyone can be proud of their tummies, and teach this to their own children.
After a very frustrating first birth experience, this Deaf mother wanted a change. Will the help of two Deaf doulas give the quality communication and birth experience this mom wants and deserves? Watch Episode Four of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below, and visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes.