Sen. Tammy Duckworth is one of a growing number of women having babies in their 40s

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U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth.

Senator Tammy Duckworth, the Democratic senator from Illinois, is having a baby. She is the first serving U.S. senator to have a baby. She also happens to be 49.

But her announcement is part of a growing trend. The share of American women at the end of their childbearing years who have ever given birth was higher in 2016 than it was a decade earlier, reversing a near 40-year trend where fewer women in that age group were having babies. Some 86% of women ages 40 to 44 were mothers in 2016, up from 80% in 2006, according to a recent analysis released of U.S.

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