AUSTIN (KXAN) — The French Open begins this holiday weekend and for one star player, it is the first time appearing in a major tournament since giving birth.
Serena Williams joins the ranks of thousands of women who head back to work after maternity leave.
After a life-threatening labor and months off the court, Williams had to quickly return to her previous peak performance to compete.
Sports medicine doctors say the training for high-performance athletes is much more demanding. And many of them continue to train during their pregnancies.
But, sports medicine physician, Dr. Martha Pyron, said new moms who enjoy a high level of physical activity or participate in competitive sports can do the same. The physical activity speeds up the recovery process.
“Maintain as much as you can,” said Dr. Pyron, owner of Medicine in Motion. “Keep your aerobic capacity the same. [Pro athletes] were doing something to keep their heart and lungs still functioning at that same level.”
Something else that spurs pro players back into tip-top form: sleep. It is something new moms lack, Pyron said.
“That’s one of the biggest problems is that you’re having to get up and take care of the baby,” she said. “If you went in and lifted weights, trying to get stronger; when you’re sleeping is when the changes occur to those muscles
Dr. Pyron says new moms should use elite athletes as inspiration and not a goal. Because they have a team of nannies, chefs and trainers to help them win on the court and take care of the baby.