It's a big day for Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who has given birth to a baby girl and made history doing so.
The decorated Iraq War veteran who lost both legs when her helicopter was shot down had her second daughter Maile Pearl Bowlsbey Monday, she announced, making her the first U.S. senator to give birth while in 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," Duckworth said in a statement. “Pearl Bowlsbey Johnson was Bryan’s great Aunt, an Army Officer and a nurse who served during the Second World War. 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. 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.”
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Both Duckworth and her family are "recovering well," her office said in a statement.
The newborn girl is Duckworth's second child.
Duckworth, who turned 50 in March, says she appreciates the historic nature of her baby's birth, as well as the fact that she represents working mothers and women having babies later in life. She fully expects to have to find a place to nurse in some quiet parlor off the Senate floor.
But she says having a baby, a second daughter, is just one of many stops on the trail ahead.
“Parenthood isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s an economic issue and one that affects all parents—men and women alike,” her statement read. “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, one of 22 women in the Senate, is already in the history books. She's the first female amputee elected to Congress, the first Asian-American to represent Illinois in Washington and the first member of Congress born in Thailand.