New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives birth to baby girl

21 June, 2018, 21:01 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Jacinda Ardern in Northland June 2018

Ardern is the youngest prime minister New Zealand has had since 1856, and her leadership and pregnancy have sparked nationwide excitement, which the local media have dubbed "Jacindamania".

Jacinda Ardern's baby announcement on Instagram.

Ms Ardern went into labour on Thursday morning and gave birth to a healthy baby girl weighing 3.31kg (7.3lb) at 4.45pm.

New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern has become the first world leader in almost 30 years to have a baby while in office.

The 37-year-old will take six weeks of maternity leave, and has now passed on her duties to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters.

Ardern posted the news on her Instagram account along with a photo of the newborn and her partner.

Ms Ardern is one of the few elected leaders to hold office while pregnant.

The last world leader to give birth while in office was the former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 1990.

The first woman elected to Britain's House of Commons was Constance Markievicz in 1918, although as a member of the Irish republican party Sinn Fein, she did not take her seat.

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Former prime minister Helen Clark tweeted it was "a proud day for Jacinda and Clarke and for us all".

The baby is the first child for Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayforde.

Ardern becomes only the second serving second prime minister in history to give birth.

Technically, Ardern will still be in charge of the country and will continue to read cabinet papers during her absence.

In contrast, Bhutto, fearing she was in danger of being overthrown, travelled incognito to a Karachi hospital, underwent a Caesarean section, then returned to work.

It was all a far cry from 1990, when Bhutto, the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim-majority nation, told nearly no-one she was pregnant until Bakhtawar was born on January 25.

Mr Gayford will take care of the baby and will travel with Ms Ardern between their Auckland home and the capital, Wellington, as well on global engagements.

Now proudly wearing the tagline as the first child to be born to a sitting prime minister, Bhutto's daughter Bakthawar B-Zardari took to social media to congratulate Ardern on the baby's arrival.

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