New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed a baby girl into the world with her partner, Clarke Gayford.
The 37-year-old has become only the second world leader to give birth while in the top job. (The first was Pakistan’s former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who gave birth to her daughter while in office in 1990.)
While we’re not sure of the girl’s name just yet, Ardern wrote on Instagram: “[She] arrived at 4.45pm weighing 3.31kg (7.3lb).
“Thank you so much for your best wishes and your kindness. We’re all doing really well thanks to the wonderful team at Auckland City Hospital.”
In a fascinating coincidence, Arden’s baby was born on the same day as Benazir Bhutto, the late Prime Minister of Pakistan, who is the only other Prime Minister to give birth while in office.
Ardern had been out and about at the country’s national agricultural show, Fieldays on Friday, just days before her Sunday due date.
There, she spoke about feeling “a bit less comfortable” at nine months pregnant, but how overall her pregnancy had run smoothly.
“Everyone’s personal circumstances are going to be different. I acknowledge I’ve been quite lucky. Niggles along the way, I’m lucky to not have had that,” she told reporters.
In the announcement, posted to Twitter, she said she would “join the many parents who wear two hats”.
We thought 2017 was a big year! This year we’ll join the many parents who wear two hats. I’ll be PM & a mum while Clarke will be “first man of fishing” & stay at home dad. There will be lots of questions (I can assure you we have a plan all ready to go!) but for now bring on 2018 pic.twitter.com/nowAYOhAbF
— Jacinda Ardern (@jacindaardern) January 18, 2018
“I’ll be PM and a mum while Clarke will be ‘first man of fishing’ and stay-at-home dad.”
Her statement also said she expected questions, and no doubt she was prepared for some of the criticism she received from those who have outdated views about what pregnant women and working mothers can accomplish.
But just a few days before she gave birth, she was assured that most people understood this was a completely acceptable choice to make.
“I have strong sense that New Zealanders see this as a life event and not something that’s particularly going to affect my job.”
Jacinda is scheduled to take just six weeks maternity leave. Her deputy prime minister, Winston Peters, has stepped into the role of acting PM until she returns.
Congratulations Jacinda and Clarke!