Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

New Zealand's Prime Minister Gives Birth

New Zealand's Prime Minister Gives Birth

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has just given birth to a girl at Auckland City Hospital with her partner, Clarke Gayford, at her side.

Deputy prime minister Winston Peters has taken over as acting prime minister. while Ms Ardern takes a six-week period of leave.

Ms Ardern was elected in October and shared the news in January that she and Mr Gayford were expecting a child.

The charismatic Ardern follows Pakistan's prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 1990 as the only women in modern history to give birth while in power, but she downplayed the significance.

After that, Ms Ardern, 37, managed a dinner of Marmite toast and Milo - but apparently got little sleep overnight on Thursday. "We're all doing really well", she wrote.

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.

Ms Ardern is one of very few elected leaders to have give birth while in office.

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Opposition leader Syeda Abida Hussain had called Bhutto "greedy" for wanting to have "motherhood, domesticity, glamour, and whole responsibility" rather than make sacrifices for her country.

James Shaw, the minister of Climate Change and leader of the progressive Green Party, which shares a support agreement with Ardern's Labour government, said: "This is an exciting time for Jacinda and Clarke and an historic moment for our country". In aninterview earlier this year with Radio New Zealand, Ardern said, "I am not the first woman to multitask".

She plans to take six weeks off work.

She posted a picture of herself, smiling and holding the baby in a woollen blanket, with her partner, television presenter Clarke Gayford.

"She's taken it in her stride, New Zealanders have taken it in their stride. all round I think we're showing huge maturity as a country with this".

"It's been great", she told reporters at her last major public event before giving birth.

In this May 22, 2018, file photo, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addresses Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand.

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