The United States Senate has been an integral part of the governing of our country since its inception over two centuries ago. Yet it took until this week - in 2018 - for a sitting senator to break the mold and become the first to give birth while in office.

According to her office, Senator Tammy Duckworth gave birth to a healthy daughter on Monday. Maile Pearl Bowlsbey marks the second addition to her family after giving birth to a daughter, Abigail, in 2014. Senator Duckworth may need some time to recover, but her story has the ability to move mountains.

Senator Duckworth's plan

When it was revealed that Senator Duckworth was expecting, it immediately became a story, due to the fact that no sitting senator had ever given birth while in office. It's not the first time she's blazed a trail for others - this is an American hero, after all, who lost both of her legs fighting in Iraq and wears prosthetics. She fits the mold as a feminist role model.

She is human, though, and she needs time to bond with her new daughter. Accordingly, she's planning on taking the next 12 weeks off to do just that. She is planning on staying in Washington D.C. though, close enough to be involved in congressional matters where necessary. That differs from four years ago when the Illinois Democrat stayed in Chicago while taking time off for Abigail.

Senator Duckworth's decision to stay in Washington will do more than simply make waves in upcoming votes.

Breaking the stigma

While pregnancy and birth are a natural and essential part of our world, there is still a stigma attached to pregnant women and new mothers in the workplace. Supervisors and managers have a history of viewing them to be replaceable as they become less able to put in long hours or participate in stressful events.

Senator Duckworth's working mentality will change that.

She's already working to change the rules of the Senate, which bar Senator Duckworth from bringing her new baby to votes; she demanded change in the same statement that announced Maile's birth. On Sunday, she was considering what action needed to be taken following alleged chemical warfare in Syria.

Even Monday morning, she accused the EPA of violating the law, largely due to Administrator Scott Pruitt's ineptitude.

Senator Tammy Duckworth has already changed the way people view senators. Now, she has the opportunity to change the way people view working mothers.