Serena Williams: absence makes way for new Australian Open champion

Jelena Ostapenko last year became the youngest women's grand slam champion since Maria Sharapova

And this risk doesn't go away immediately after a woman gives birth - her risk for blood clots remains elevated for about six weeks after giving birth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When Williams further insisted on treatment, a doctor instead performed an ultrasound of her legs. Almost a third of births in the United States are, and Williams' procedure was flawless. When she returned to surgery the doctors discovered a large hematoma had flooded her abdomen.

In celebration of her power, Vogue has highlighted five important body positive lessons that the tennis champion has followed over the years and, in turn, hopes to pass on to her baby daughter, from tuning out negativity to learning that beauty isn't one size fits all. Clots that form within veins or arteries disrupt the circulatory system and can damage the organs. Women who have a history of blood clots, as Williams does, are at higher risk of blood clots during pregnancy and childbirth than women without a history of blood clots.

Serena was found to have a pulmonary embolism, and the coughing it caused meant her C-section wound burst open. The next day, off the "anticoagulant regimen" medication, the 23-time Grand Slam victor began to gasp as she recovered in her hospital room. But when she tried to tell a nurse that she needed a CT scan with contrast and heparin (a blood thinner), she says the nurse told her that maybe her pain medication was making her confused. The ultrasound revealed nothing, and according to Vogue, Williams reiterated: "I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip". The scan showed that several small blood clots had settled in her lungs. "Williams" physical instincts were correct.

Williams told Vogue earlier this week that back in September when the baby was born via emergency cesarean section, she underwent multiple operations after sustaining a pulmonary embolism. That's because it takes time for the blood-clotting factors to return to normal, and for the uterus to reduce in size, Aftab said. And the night nurse she had planned to hire had fallen through.

Williams said she has broken down frequently since becoming a mother. The medical ordeal combined with new motherhood temporarily overwhelmed Williams.

"Actually, I think having a baby might help", she said. Those first couple of months were incredibly trying for the new-mum who admits she still struggles with her new role.

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Here, William's says the key is in learning to be comfortable with yourself and knowing that, "For every negative comment, there are 300,000 positive ones".

"Knowing I've got this handsome baby to go home to makes me feel like I don't have to play another match". Now Serena feels stronger and motivated to return to competition, which she is expected to do in March, at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on and.

Serena pulled out of the Australian Open after losing a December exhibition match against Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi.

The Serena Williams pregnancy story is already incredible - but if the 23-time grand slam winner's 2018 plays out as hoped, the story is going to be completely remarkable. "I'm so glad I had a daughter".

"I want them, but I don't need them", she said. Serena calls the moment doctors placed her baby girl on her chest "an wonderful feeling".

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