Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth at a American Federation of Government Employees conference.

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Sen. Tammy Duckworth becomes first senator to give birth while in office

The baby’s name is Maile Pearl.


Samantha Grasso


Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth gave birth on Monday, making her the first U.S. senator to do so while in office. Duckworth’s first daughter, who she had in 2014, was born while Duckworth served in the House of Representatives.

“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 [Daniel] Akaka was able to bless her name for us—his help in naming both of our daughters means he will always be with us,” a statement from Duckworth’s office read, according to CNN.

Duckworth’s statement shared that Maile Pearl’s name comes from Pearl Bowlsbey Johnson, her husband’s great aunt, an Army officer and nurse who served during World War II. Akaka, a Hawaii Congressman, died Friday at age 93. He previously gave Duckworth’s first daughter, Abigail, her middle name O’kalani.

According to an aide, Duckworth is taking 12 weeks to be with her daughter but gave birth in Washington, D.C., instead of near the family’s home in Chicago in order to make her available to vote.

Duckworth’s statement went on to advocate for Senate rules to be changed so that she can bring Maile Pearl with her to Senate votes.

Duckworth, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who served in the Iraq War, is a Congressional member of many firsts. She is the first Asian-American woman elected to Congress in Illinois, the first disabled woman to be elected to Congress, and the first member of Congress born in Thailand.


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