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Rep. Enid Waldholtz, R-Utah, went into induced labor Wednesday at LDS Hospital and was expected to deliver her baby sometime Thursday afternoon.

The freshman congresswoman, 36, would be only the second woman in Congress to give birth while in office, and the first Republican. The only other congresswoman to give birth was Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, a California Democrat, back in the 1970s.The due date for the child of Waldholtz and her husband, Joe, was Sept. 21. But because she suffered from a mild case of toxemia, doctors induced labor Wednesday.

Toxemia is an illness associated with pregnancy; also called pregnancy-induced hypertension, it affects almost 10 percent of the 3.5 million pregnancies in America every year. Toxemia is marked by an increase in blood pressure and is most common in first pregnancies. The rise in blood pressure can become so severe that it threatens the lives of mother and child.

Inducing labor was not expected to cause serious complications because the Waldholtz baby is of good size and healthy. The congresswoman is also healthy.