Tammy Duckworth becomes 1st senator to give birth while in office

Credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

Credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, and her husband on Monday welcomed their second daughter, making Duckworth the first U.S. senator to give birth while in office.

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Duckworth gave birth just after 7 a.m. Monday to her second daughter with husband Bryan Bowlsbey, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. She had her first child, Abigail, in 2014, while she was serving in the House of Representatives.

“Bryan, Abigail and I couldn’t be happier to welcome little Maile Pearl as the newest addition to our family,” Duckworth said Monday in a statement. “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 her newborn's name came from her husband's great aunt, Pearl Bowlsbey Johnson, who served in the U.S. Army and was a nurse in World War II. The name was blessed by former Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, who died last week. He also helped name the couple's first daughter four years ago, according to The Washington Post.

Duckworth, 50, is one of just 10 women who have given birth while serving in Congress, according to NPR.

"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," Duckworth said in a statement obtained by NPR. "Parenthood isn't just a women's issue, it's an economic issue and one that affects all parents — men and women alike."

Duckworth is a U.S. Army veteran who lost her legs and partial use of her right arm while serving in Iraq in 2004, when the helicopter she was piloting was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, according to Politico. She retired from the Army in 2014 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

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