Mum's the word: 11 athletes who are mothers

Gone are the days when having a baby meant the end of a career, especially for sportswomen. This change though has been anything but automatic. It took trailblazers to break convention and show the world that there lies success beyond motherhood too. This Mothers' Day, Sportstar celebrates these athletes - who are also moms - who have redefined the peripheries of possibility for women in sport.

Serena
When an eight-week pregnant Serena Williams won the Australian Open in 2017, noone could bring themselves to believe it. What she did by going about doing what she does best, being a firebrand on the tennis court, is normalise pregnancy for athletes. She came back to the court after giving birth, giving naysayers a run for their money Photo: Getty Images
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Azarenka
In 2016, Victoria Azarenka announced she was pregnant and would be taking a break from tennis. Ahead of her comeback after her baby boy was born, she famously said in an interview to the New York Times, "I'll do it for me because I want to achieve my full potential, but it's not just for me anymore." Photo: Getty Images
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Mary Kom
After winning her third consecutive Boxing World Championship, Mary Kom did the expected - she got married and started a family. While no one expected her to make a comeback after that, guess what she did! She returned, bagged a silver medal in the 2008 Asian Women's Boxing Championship, the World Championship in 2010 and an Olympic Bronze in 2012. Photo: Getty Images
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Candace Parker
WNBA player Candace Parker came back to the game just seven weeks after her daughter Lailaa was born and went on to win the Most Valuable Player award for the 2012-13 season. She also led the US women's basketball team to two Olympic gold medals in 2012 and then in 2016. Photo: Getty Images
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Kim Clijsters
By winning the 2009 US Open, Kim Clijsters became the first mother to win a Grand Slam since 1980. Incidentally, she is also the only person to have won more titles after becoming a mother than before. Photo: Getty Images
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Sarita Devi
Laishram Sarita Devi has continued to keep giving boxing her best even after giving birth to a boy in 2013. Who can forget the 2014 Asian Games when she refused to accept a bronze medal after a controversial ruling in her bout with South Park's Park Ji-Na. Photo: Getty Images
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Michelle Waterson
UFC strawweight ace Michelle Waterson had a baby right in the middle of her career but that's only pushed her to get better in the ring and outside it. She loves taking her daughter Araya to fights to break stereotypes around the sport and to show her the artistic side of MMA. Photo: Getty Images
7/11
Paula Radcliffe
Paula Radcliffe returned to running 12 days after giving birth to her daughter Isla, which was a little too soon. As a result, she ended up with a stress fracture in my sacrum, having still not recovered from the trauma of childbirth. She did go on to win the New York Marathon 10 months after her delivery though. Photo: Getty Images
8/11
Kerri Walsh Jennings
Volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings was five weeks pregnant with her daughter Scout at the 2012 Olympics, where she and teammate Misty May-Treanor won gold. Jennings and her teammate April Ross also brought home the silver in the 2016 Games. Photo: Getty Images
9/11
Kristen Armstrong
Kristen Armstrong's son Lucas was born in 2010 after which she came out of retirement and returned to competing. She went on to win her gold medals in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics post that. Photo: Getty Images
10/11
Nia Ali
Track and field athlete Nia Ali took some time off in 2015 when she was pregnant with her son Titus. She came back in 2016 to defend her gold medal in the World Indoor Championships, winning the event again with a time of 7.81 seconds. The same year, she also bagged the silver in the Olympics for 100m hurdles. The women's team took home gold, silver and bronze that year. Photo: Getty Images
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