Naomi Osaka recently opened up about how motherhood has changed her perspective on tennis and life as she prepares to make her first return to the Australian Open — a tournament she has won twice. The four-time grand slam champion initially revealed her pregnancy during the 2022 Australian Open. In July 2023, Oskak gave birth to her daughter, Shai, whom she shares with rapper Cordae.

She returned to the tour earlier this month at her first major competition since becoming a mother, the Brisbane International. Three-time champion Karolina Pliskova defeated Naomi Osaka in the second round, The Guardian reported.

In a Wednesday-published interview with Glamour, Osaka called for implementing paid parental leave. As a young woman living in the United States, Osaka learned the U.S. is one of the few countries without a national paid parental leave policy.

“When I heard the stats, I was really shocked,” told the publication. “I’m lucky enough to not have to go straight into work, but I needed that time to process everything that’s happened and, of course, get to know my baby. “

About 73% of Americans do not have paid leave through their workplaces, and one in four women returned to work within two weeks of giving birth due to the lack of paid leave. The United States is one of only six countries without a national paid parental leave program.

“And to see that there are so many women that don’t have that choice, and they have to immediately go straight to work, is really sad,” Osaka added.

In a new ad campaign for the baby formula brand Bobbie, Osaka is pushing to pass paid family and medical leave in the United States. Osaka is entirely aware of her advantage when it comes to making decisions. She chose, for example, not to nurse Shai.

“I watched Serena’s documentary, and I saw her pumping before she went onto the court to play a match,” she said. “I was thinking to myself, This might not be the path for me.” She added that her partnership with formula brand Bobbie “came about organically.”

Together with Bobbie’s ad campaign, Glamour and Paid Leave for All are pleading with Congress to approve the petition. In addition, Osaka and Bobbie are pushing for federal paid leave while presenting 50 financial awards for 50 families to offer short-term assistance.

“My world turned into a completely different world in one night. It was a really long process,” she told Glamour about healing her body and mind after having her daughter. 

Osaka said that becoming a mother has drastically changed her. It was painful — both during her pregnancy and the postpartum period. She now has a competing focus in her daily life.

“I feel so strong,” she said. “People talk about childbirth, but it’s different once you experience it. I just feel like I can do anything, and nothing will bother me, and the pain tolerance has definitely increased a lot from that. I just don’t really care about other people’s opinions anymore.”

During the postpartum phase, Osaka learned to reclaim her identity and assert herself more. She also had “aha” moments when she realized why moms are the center of the universe.

“Moms are expected to do everything and to know everything. But I’ve learned that I can put my foot down a lot more now, and I’ve also learned why a lot of moms are very loud and they have strong characters.”