New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth to a baby girl yesterday. She is the second world leader to have a baby while she is in charge of her country.
Ms. Ardern was elected the prime minister of New Zealand last year. At 37 years old, she is the youngest world leader. Ms. Ardern found out that she was pregnant about two weeks before she became prime minister. In January, she shared the news that she and her partner, Clarke Gayford, were expecting a baby in June.
Ms. Ardern’s baby was due June 17, but it arrived about four days late. Ms. Ardern worked until the day before the baby arrived.
Yesterday, Ms. Ardern posted a picture of the couple with their new baby on the Internet. “Welcome to our village wee one,” she wrote. “Feeling very lucky to have a healthy baby girl that arrived at 4.45pm weighing 3.31kg (7.3lb) Thank you so much for your best wishes and your kindness.”
The prime minister’s daughter does not have a name yet. Nurses say that she is “alert and very hungry”.
Ms. Ardern will take six weeks off from her work as prime minister as she and Mr. Gayford get settled with their baby. But Ms. Ardern plans on keeping up-to-date with everything that is going on until she takes over again in early August.
While Ms. Ardern is at home with her baby, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will act as New Zealand’s prime minister. Ms. Ardern says that she will talk often with Mr. Peters and that she will still be a part of big decisions.
Ms. Ardern is one of many women who are showing that they can be political leaders while raising young children. In April, Tammy Duckworth became the first female politician to give birth while working as a US Senator. She soon wrote a law which allowed babies to come into the senate. Karina Gould recently made news by feeding her baby in Canada’s House of Commons.
Ms. Ardern has pointed out that many women work while raising a family. “I am not the first woman to work and have a baby; there are many women who have done this before,” she told Radio New Zealand.
The first world leader to have a baby while leading her country was Benazir Bhutto. Ms. Bhutto was the prime minister of Pakistan when her daughter was born in 1990 – 28 years ago. Some people have noticed that Ms. Bhutto’s birthday, June 21, is the same as the birthday of Ms. Ardern’s daughter.
Auckland, New Zealand
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