Congresswoman Anna Paulina Luna of Florida is expecting her first child in August.
The representative announced her news during an exclusive interview with Time that was published on May 8.
“We are very excited to welcome our son later this summer,” Luna told the publication. “Children are a blessing and we could not have asked for a greater gift.”
The Republican, who represents her state’s 13th Congressional District, will be the 12th woman in the 238-year history of Congress to give birth while in office.
“Luna, 34, is part of a new class of younger and more diverse freshman lawmakers,” reported Time. “She was the director of Hispanic outreach for the conservative advocacy group Turning Point USA before winning office last year. Her victory made her the first Mexican-American female elected to Congress from Florida.”
Luna is a member of the House Freedom Caucus and serves on the Natural Resources and Oversight and Accountability Committees.
Prior to her 2022 election, Luna served in the United States Air Force where she met her husband Andy Gamberzky. Luna served for six years and received the Air Force Achievement Medal. In 2021, she wrote the book Bringing Them Home: The Untold Cost of Putting Mission First, which documents the experiences of young service members.
Gamberzky is a purple heart recipient who was wounded after being shot while serving in Afghanistan.
Congress is currently in session and will break for summer recess on July 28 – meaning Luna will have the option of spending all of August in Florida.
Senator Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois, became the first member of the U.S. Senate to give birth while in office in April of 2018. Duckworth gave birth to her first child while serving in Congress in 2014. She reportedly decided to run for the Senate during her 12-week maternity leave.
“As tough as it’s been to juggle motherhood and the demands of being in the House and now the Senate, it’s made me more committed to doing this job,” Duckworth told CNBC ahead of her second child’s birth. “I have a better understanding in a way that I didn’t have.”
In 2013, Washington Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers became the first woman in Congress to have given birth three times while in office. At the time, the Republican was the only lawmaker to have given birth twice while in Congress. Only seven other women had given birth while on the job when the congresswoman announced her third pregnancy. McMorris Rodger said the record was somewhat surprising as she was not even married when she was initially elected in 2004.
“I went through a time when I thought, ‘Well, maybe I’ll be single for the rest of my life,’ because I wasn’t getting a lot of dates,” she told Today. McMorris Rodger also predicted that the number of children born to sitting female members of the House and Senate would increase moving forward.
“As more women serve in Congress, you’ll see it will become more common for women to have babies while they’re serving,” she said. “It’ll become easier in that people probably just won’t think as much about it.”
She also noted that her experience raising her son Cole, who was born with Down Syndrome in 2007, profoundly impacted her work.
“Because of Cole, I have met people and built relationships across the aisle over in the Senate that I would have never had otherwise,” she said.
California Congresswoman Yvonne Braithwaite Burke was the first member of the House to deliver a baby while in office in 1973.