New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives birth to baby girl

Erika Holt
June 21, 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".

Ms Ardern, who refused to discuss plans for motherhood during the election campaign, waited until January to reveal on Facebook she had conceived and was going to be "prime minister and a mum".

Ardern's office confirmed she gave birth to a "healthy baby girl", weighing 3.31 kilograms, at 4.45pm on Thursday.

She's only the second world leader to give birth while doing the job of prime minister.

This has all been a new challenge for her staff as they try to balance the inevitable domestic and worldwide media demands, while trying to make the birth as "normal" as possible for Ms Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford.

Ms Ardern's due date was 17 June. She didn't take any time off after the birth.

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd tweeted: "The whole world is wishing you well". She returned as prime minister from 1993 to 1996 and was assassinated in 2007. Ardern plans to take a six-week leave before returning to work.

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Under the arrangement, Ms Ardern will still be consulted on major decisions, including issues of national security.

Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand gave birth to a daughter on Thursday.

"It is with great joy that I, on behalf of the Green Party, congratulate the Prime Minister and Clarke Gayford on the wonderful news that their baby girl has been born", co-leader Marama Davidson said.

Ardern became the leader of New Zealand's Labour Party in September 2017, and was elected prime minister a few weeks later.

"And then lo-and-behold suddenly we learn that she has not only gone and delivered democracy she's also delivered a baby".

For young women, the example Ardern is setting is an affirmation that they too can expect to have that choice.

"She continued to work right up until the birth, with Gayford posting on social media on Wednesday afternoon a photo of her poring over official documents from home with the hashtag "#stillwaiting".

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