Tammy Duckworth Becomes the First U.S. Senator to Give Birth While in Office

She was already one of 10 women who had given birth while serving in Congress.

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Illinois Democrat Tammy Duckworth just became the first U.S. Senator to give birth while in office. She welcomed her second baby girl, Maile Pearl Bowlsbey, early Monday morning.

“We’re...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.

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She and her husband, Bryan Bowlsbey have another daughter, Abigail, who is 3 years old. According to the New York Times (opens in new tab), Duckworth "was already one of 10 women who had given birth while serving in Congress, having had Abigail in November 2014 as a member of the House of Representatives."

A spokesperson said that Duckworth will be on maternity leave for 12 weeks, but available for any close votes. She announced her pregnancy in an interview with The Chicago-Sun Times (opens in new tab), describing her struggle to conceive. Both of Duckworth's daughters were conceived through in vitro fertilization.

Since giving birth to her first daughter, she's made it a priority to introduce new bills that would help both parents. So far, none of them have been passed.

In her statement announcing Maile's birth, she said, “Parenthood isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s an economic issue and one that affects all parents—men and women alike."

Duckworth continued: "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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