Duckworth becomes first sitting U.S. Senator to give birth


Daily file photo by Sam Krevlin

Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) speak at an event. Duckworth became the first senator to give birth while in office.

Syd Stone, City Editor

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) became the first senator to give birth while in office.

Her daughter, Maile Pearl Bowlsbey, was born Monday.

“Bryan, Abigail and I couldn’t be happier to welcome little Maile Pearl as the newest addition to our family,” Duckworth said in a statement.

She said former U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, a Democrat from Hawaii, was “able to bless her name for us” before his death Friday. The two senators worked together in Congress on veterans’ issues.

“His help in naming both of our daughters means he will always be with us,” Duckworth said.

Duckworth is a retired Army lieutenant colonel and was a helicopter pilot in the Iraq War. She is one of only 10 sitting Congresswomen to give birth. She gave birth to her first daughter, Abigail, while serving in the House of Representatives in November 2014.

Duckworth reiterated her stance on paid family leave in her Monday statement, saying, “Parenthood isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s an economic issue and one that affects all parents.”

She added that motherhood has shaped her legislative goals and has given her an “important” and “underrepresented” perspective on Capitol Hill.

“Across our nation, working parents face barriers to staying in the workforce,” she said in a March statement regarding her pregnancy. “Lack of access to affordable child care and to paid family, medical and parental leave forces people to choose between taking care of their children or a sick family member and losing their job and their health insurance.”

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