Serena Williams has admitted it was her male tennis coach who encouraged her to stop breastfeeding because he thought it was impacting her game.
Serena Williams' male tennis coach told her to stop breastfeeding.
The 36-year-old legendary sportswoman gave birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., whom she has with her husband Alex Ohanian, 11 months ago and, although she couldn't wait to get back on the court, she was shocked when she was advised to switch to formula feeding in order to improve her game.
Speaking in TIME magazine, Serena's coach Patrick Mouratoglou said: ''I felt the decisions were taken through the angle of the family, where before, every decision was taken through the angle of tennis. This is a big difference. Even if you are Serena, if you want to be successful in tennis, tennis has to be priority No. 1.''
However, the brunette beauty has admitted his advice was hard to swallow.
She explained: ''You have the power to sustain the life that God gave her. 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. It's absolutely hard to take from a guy. 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.''
But Serena eventually took his advice because she needed her body back.
She said: ''I looked at Olympia, and I was like, 'Listen, mommy needs to get her body back, so mommy's going to stop now.' ''
But, although she gave up, Serena still has a strong bond with her baby.
She added: ''I didn't think I'd be this attached. It's difficult to leave her. Sometimes she just wants mommy, she doesn't want anyone else.
''I still have to learn a balance of being there for her, and being there for me. I'm working on it. I never understood women before, when they put themselves in second or third place. And it's so easy to do. It's so easy to do.''
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