Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives birth to a baby girl

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives birth to a baby girl

Ms Ardern took office as New Zealand's third female prime minister past year and said in January that she was expecting a baby with Mr Gayford, a television fishing show presenter.

Ardern, age 37, is just the second elected world leader to give birth while in office, and the first in almost three decades to do so.

The only other recorded instance in recent times was of Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto, who was elected Prime Minister in 1988 and in 1990 gave birth to her second child.

The baby, weighing 3.31 kilograms (7 pounds 3 ounces), was delivered at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday at Auckland Hospital, Ardern's office said in a statement.

Admitted to the hospital earlier in the day, Ardern's expected due date had been June 17.

Ms Ardern said they were "all doing well" and thanked the team at Auckland City Hospital.

The birth capped an eventful year for Ardern who became prime minister last October, three months after inheriting the leadership of the Labour Party when it was languishing in the polls. "We already talk about significant issues, that will just continue, we'll just be in different roles", she said in a interview with Fairfax media just before going on maternity leave.

"The thing to keep in mind is: I'm not dead", she told TVNZ.

"I am not the first woman to multitask".

Political parties have been quick to acknowledge the news, with National leader Simon Bridges congratulating Ardern. "These things may seem minor at the time, but to the labouring woman, he or she is her rock, her strength to succeed!" says Liz Pearce, Parent Education and Operations Manager at Parents Centres New Zealand.

When no party won sufficient support in the election to form a government, she was anointed prime minister by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, the kingmaker in a three-party coalition also involving the Greens. Ms Ardern plans to take six weeks of leave before returning to work.

The public has generally been supportive of the popular prime minister.

Ms Ardern will share news of the birth herself - most likely through Instagram like she did the pregnancy bombshell - which will the be followed by a formal government announcement.

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