Tammy Duckworth Becomes First Sitting Senator to Give Birth

Senator Tammy Duckworth made history on Monday by becoming the first sitting senator to give birth. The Illinois Democrat welcomed her second daughter, Maile Pearl Bowlsbey.

Duckworth and her husband, Bryan Bowlsbey, announced Maile's birth on Monday in a statement released by her office.

"Bryan, Abigail and I couldn’t be happier to welcome little Maile Pearl as the newest addition to our family and we’re deeply honored that our good friend Senator Akaka was able to bless her name for us—his help in naming both of our daughters means he will always be with us," the 50-year-old Duckworth said.

She said her daughter's middle name is a tribute to Bowslbey's great aunt, an Army Officer and nurse during World War II.

"He spent many summer months with her while growing up, we feel her presence still and are grateful for her service to our nation during the most challenging of times," Duckworth continued. “We’re also so grateful for the love and support of our friends and family, as well as our wonderful medical teams for everything they’ve done to help us in our decades-long journey to complete our family.”

Duckworth is also one of only 10 women to give birth while serving in Congress. She is an Iraq War veteran, and lost both her legs and damaged her right arm after a helicopter crash.

When Duckworth came home, she entered politics, serving as director of the Illinois Veterans Affairs and as an Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs in President Barack Obama's administration. She represented Illinois' 8th Congressional district from 2013 to 2017 and was elected to the Senate in 2016, becoming the first disabled woman to serve in Congress and only the second Asian-American woman to serve in the Senate.

Bowslbey also served in the Iraq War and the Illinois Army National Guard. Their first daughter, Abigail, was born in 2014.

“Parenthood isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s an economic issue and one that affects all parents — men and women alike,” Duckworth added Monday. “As tough as juggling the demands of motherhood and being a Senator can be, I’m hardly alone or unique as a working parent, and my children only make me more committed to doing my job and standing up for hardworking families everywhere.”

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Duckworth's Senate colleagues congratulated her on welcoming her new baby on Twitter.

Photo credit: Facebook / Senator Tammy Duckworth