Tammy Duckworth Just Became the First Sitting Senator to Have a Baby While in Office
Tammy Duckworth’s baby girl came into the world making history.
Duckworth, the junior senator from Illinois, welcomed daughter Maile Pearl Bowlsbey today, and in doing so, became the first sitting senator to give birth while in office, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Maile Pearl is the second child for Duckworth and her husband, Bryan Bowlsbey. It’s the second child Duckworth, 50, has given birth to while serving in Congress: She had her eldest daughter, Abigail, in 2014, when she was a member of the House of Representatives. Maile Pearl’s middle name is in honor to Bowlsbey’s great aunt, who was a nurse in World War II. (Duckworth herself is a U.S. Army veteran.)
“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,” she said in a statement, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
In the statement announcing her daughter’s birth, Duckworth also spoke of the challenges that working parents face, and her desire to help push legislation forward that will make life easier for them.
“Parenthood isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s an economic issue and one that affects all parents—men and women alike,” Duckworth said. “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.”
Several of Duckworth’s Congressional colleagues offered their congratulations on the new arrival on Twitter, including Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand.
Hillary Clinton also sent her congratulations to Duckworth.
As well as being the first sitting senator to give birth in office, Duckworth, a Democrat, is just the tenth women in American history to give birth while serving in Congress, according to the Chicago Tribune. (The others were members of the House of Representatives.) Ahead of Maile’s birth, Duckworth’s senate colleagues hosted a baby shower for her in the Capitol.