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Tammy Duckworth Becomes First US Senator to Give Birth While in Office

Caitlin is a freelance writer who experienced early age corporate burnout in 2015 and traded New York City for the misty air and superior coffee of Seattle. She is a Gemini, a former ballerina, and a proponent of the Oxford comma. Like M...

Duckworth brings us a major US first — & an adorable baby name to boot

Updated April 9, 2018, 2:00 p.m. ET: The historic moment is here: Senator Tammy Duckworth just became the first U.S. Senator to give birth while in office. The politician and all-around amazing human welcomed a baby girl on Monday according to CNN.

"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," said Duckworth in a statement released Monday. Former Senator Daniel Kahikina Akaka was the first sitting U.S. Senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry. He died on April 6, just a few days before Maile Pearl was born.

In the same statement, she also urged the Senate to change its current (and totally antiquated) floor rules so she can participate in future Senate votes with her baby by her side. “Parenthood isn’t just a women’s issue," Duckworth continued in her statement. "It’s an economic issue and one that affects all parents — men and women alike,” the senator 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.”

We can only imagine the amazing career — political or otherwise — little Maile Pearl will grow up to have. She has one hell of a role model, that's for sure.

Original story, published January 24, 2018: This is a big week for politician pregnancy firsts: A few days after we learned that New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will most likely become the second elected world leader in history to have a baby while in office, U.S. senator and certified badass Tammy Duckworth has announced her pregnancy as well.

Duckworth is expected to become the first sitting U.S. senator to give birth while in office. The combat veteran, who gave birth to her first daughter in 2014 while serving in the House of Representatives, revealed that this hasn't been an easy journey. Duckworth shared that she went through multiple rounds of IVF and suffered a miscarriage when she and her husband, Bryan, decided to have a second child.

“Bryan and I are thrilled that our family is getting a little bit bigger, and Abigail is ecstatic to welcome her baby sister home this spring,” Duckworth told Time. She also shared the news on Twitter with an adorable image of four ducks.

A separate statement issued by Duckworth's office emphasized that millions of other working mothers across the country are more deeply impacted by the wage gap than other women simply because they choose to expand their families.

More: This Prime Minister Is Pregnant — & Here's Why It Matters

"Though millions of American women have become mothers while continuing their careers, Senator Duckworth is one of only 10 women since our nation’s founding who have given birth while serving in Congress," the statement read. "Her experiences as a working mother give her an important — and underrepresented — perspective in the halls of Congress, where she has long advocated on behalf of working families."

During her time in Congress, Duckworth has consistently been an advocate for working families, working on initiatives including paid family-leave legislation and head-start programs for children.

More: Ask a Raging Feminist: Who would make the best female president?

This isn't the first time Duckworth has made history. After losing both her legs while serving as a battle captain in the Iraq war, she became the first woman with a disability elected to Congress. Duckworth is also Illinois' first Asian-American woman to serve in Congress.

This story was originally published on January 24, 2018.

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