Sen. Tammy Duckworth has added another “first” to her accomplishments. The outspoken Democratic Senator of Illinois gave birth to a baby girl named Maile Pearl Bowlsbey on April 9, 2018. This is the first time a sitting US senator has ever given birth. Duckworth, 50, issued a statement from her office stating that the family was doing well and celebrating with one another.

Senator Daniel Akaka from Hawaii influenced the Duckworth’s on their children’s names.

He suggested O’kalani as Abigail’s middle name. The Democratic senator died on April 9, 2018, at the age of 93.

Moms still have to work

Tammy was inspired to name Maile after her husband’s great-aunt, Pearl Bowlsbey Johnson who was an Army officer that served in World War 2. In another post, the senator said, “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.” This is the second child for Duckworth. She had Abigail, her first child while she was serving in the House of Representatives in 2014. She’s one of ten women who have given birth while working in Congress.

The senator is taking 12 weeks of maternity leave to rest and bond with her family.

In an interview with Politico, she said, "I can’t technically take maternity leave—because if I take maternity leave, then I won’t be allowed to sponsor legislation or vote during that time period." The family will be staying in Washington, D.C. in case Duckworth needs to vote for anything.

Tammy Duckworth is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who was in the Iraq War.

Her Black Hawk helicopter was shot down, and, due to her combat injuries she became the first female double amputee from the war. Duckworth was elected to Congress in 2013.

In an interview with The Chicago Sun-Times, Duckworth described her pregnancy as a struggle. Both of her children were conceived using in-vitro fertilization.

Duckworth spoke about the hardship of the experience with CBS News. She stated, “I’ve had multiple I.V.F. cycles and a miscarriage trying to conceive again, so we’re very grateful.”

Tammy's next plans

Duckworth’s pregnancy experience with the U.S. government exposes a problematic issue. Much of the government and political system isn’t designed for women or family-oriented parents. Duckworth has attempted to bring several bills into law for new parents, but nothing has been successful thus far. When she announced Maile’s birth, Duckworth used the post to make a relevant political statement.

The U.S. Senator believes that this is a great time to make changes to the rules about parenting in the Senate and country as a whole.

While people consider parenthood affecting mostly women, it plays a huge role for both parents. She said that it’s hard work multi-tasking between the important roles in her life. Senator Tammy Duckworth has shown that she’s not afraid of being the first to take a stand on an issue and is ready to fight for what’s right.