Serena Williams is opening up about her decision to stop breastfeeding.
During a Sunday news conference in London ahead of her Wimbledon match against Arantxa Rus on Monday (Williams ended up taking the win), the mother of one revealed she had ceased nursing her now-10-month-old daughter Alexis Olympia after six months.
After first having a goal to stop breastfeeding in January, Williams noted, “Then January became March. March became April, and I was still breastfeeding. And for me, it was really important to make it to three months, and then it was important to make it to four months. And then I was like, ‘Okay, I can do six months.’ ”
The tennis star said she was “going to be totally frank,” explaining that she didn’t lose the baby weight she’d expected to based on everything she’d heard about that particular perk of breastfeeding.
“I was vegan, I didn’t eat sugar … and I wasn’t at the weight I would’ve been had I not [breastfed],” Williams said. “What I’ve learned through the experience [is] every body 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.”
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Williams said she “felt good about” making it to six months of nursing, and after that it was more about “emotionally letting go” of the experience.
“I literally sat Olympia in my arms and I talked to her and we prayed about it,” she said. “And I told her, ‘Look, I’m gonna stop. Mommy has to do this.’ I cried a little bit — not as much as I thought I [would]. And she was fine.”
The physical effect of letting go of breastfeeding? Williams lost a whopping 10 lbs. in one week. “It was crazy, and I just kept dropping,” she recalled. “That’s what I learned that everything was different.”
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The athlete apologized for “[going] on about” her process, but also shared her beliefs about why she thinks it’s crucial to be honest about breastfeeding.
“I wanted to say that so women out there know that’s not true,” Williams said about the assumption that every woman who nurses their babies loses weight as a result. “Everyone takes things different. I think it’s important for us to share that message.”