Washington, Apr 10 (PTI) Senator Tammy Duckworth has scripted history when the 50-year-old Iraq War veteran gave birth to a baby girl, becoming the first US senator to do so while in office.
The Asian-American Democratic Senator from Illinois is an ex-army helicopter pilot who had both her legs amputated after crashing in Iraq in 2004.
“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.
Baby Maile – the couple’s second daughter – was born in a suburban Washington DC hospital yesterday.
She had her first child in 2014, when she was serving in the House of Representatives.
An aide close to Duckworth told CNN she’s doing well and taking 12 weeks to bond with her new daughter and take care of her family. She’s staying in Washington, DC, for her maternity leave and is available to vote as needed.
When she gave birth to her first daughter, she took her maternity leave at her home in Chicago, but this time she and her and her husband decided that she would give birth in the DC area in case she needs to vote, the aide said.
In January, Duckworth told the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper that getting pregnant with her second child was “a struggle”.
“I’ve had multiple IVF [In Vitro Fertilisation] cycles and a miscarriage trying to conceive again, so we’re very grateful,” she told the newspaper at the time.
The Iraq War veteran had previously made history when she became the first disabled woman elected to the Senate.
She becomes one of only 10 women to ever give birth while holding elected federal office, according to US media.
Duckworth is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who was a helicopter pilot in the Iraq War.
She was the first female double amputee from the war after suffering severe combat wounds when her Black Hawk helicopter was shot down. After retiring from the Army, she was elected to Congress in 2013.
Duckworth, whose mother was from Thailand, was also among the first Asian-American women ever elected to Congress.
Duckworth has authored several bills to help new mothers, including a bill to make airports offer a place for women to breastfeed or pump milk.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.