Woo Hoo! Who’s watching Wimbledon with me?! I have to say, I LOVE this time of the year! The start of Wimbledon has always marked the official start of the summer for me and I love the tradition and the excitement it brings every year!
Now, imagine the thrill I had when I switched on the television to catch some first round coverage the other day and heard all the talk about Serena Williams’ compression tights! Oh my! Worlds are colliding!
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
If you follow tennis at all, and even if you don’t, you very likely know who Serena Williams is. What you may not know is that she has a condition that makes her susceptible to blood clots and she has suffered from several life threatening episodes in the past. The most recent occurrence happened following the birth of her daughter in September 2017 and since her return to tennis competition this year she has been wearing compression tights (and custom catsuits!) to help her minimize her risk for recurrence...and I imagine that their performance benefits are just icing on the cake!
Serena Williams at the French Open 2018 in her custom-made compression catsuit by Nike
**A little background info: While rare, (1 to 2 women in every 1,000), pregnant women are at higher risk than non-pregnant women at developing blood clots during and after their pregnancy. If you have a history of blood clots, like Serena Williams, you are at even higher risk and medical management during your pregnancy will likely be necessary. Women typically are at their highest risk in the first three months of pregnancy and again, in their first 6 weeks postpartum. Please discuss this with your healthcare provider if you have a history of blood clots or any questions or concerns about them. Graduated compression stockings are one way to help reduce the risk of blood clots, deep vein thrombosus (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (whether related to pregnancy, travel, surgery or a physiological predisposition).**
I will admit that Serena Williams’ hasn’t always been my favourite tennis player to follow, but she is the greatest female player we have ever seen and she has accomplished many very impressive feats. Not the least of which has been her journey postpartum: having a birth that didn’t go as planned, dealing with life-threatening medical complications, struggling to breastfeed her baby and then trying to return to the highest level of competition as a mother having to adapt to all the physical changes and challenges that that entails. Hearing her story and recognizing the common theme that I hear from women every day in my practice at Rebirth Wellness Centre, has allowed me to see her and relate to her in an entirely new way. I guess I'll be adding her to my list of players to root for after all...and not just because she's wearing her compression tights!
For all the mamas out there navigating the transition and trying to find some balance, thank you for sharing your stories and for supporting each other!
I am Holly Beckley, a wife, mother and Chiropractor, living in the wonderful city of London, Ontario, Canada and I am passionate about helping people feel and function their best.