firsts

Tammy Duckworth Becomes First Senator to Give Birth While in Office

Senator Tammy Duckworth.

Democratic senator of Illinois Tammy Duckworth became the first sitting senator to give birth while in office when she welcomed daughter Maile Pearl Bowlsbey on Monday.

Duckworth, 50, is also mother to 3-year-old Abigail — born while Duckworth was serving in the House — with husband Bryan Bowlsbey. When she announced her second pregnancy in January, Duckworth said that becoming a mother inspired her to include the needs of mothers in her legislative agenda. She also shared that getting pregnant this time was “a struggle.”

“Pearl Bowlsbey Johnson was Bryan’s great Aunt, an Army Officer and a nurse who served during the Second World War,” Duckworth said in a statement explaining their choice of name. “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.”

In February, Duckworth said she didn’t think she could “technically take maternity leave” but that her experience might “change some Senate rules.”

Tammy Duckworth Becomes First Sitting Senator to Give Birth