New Zealand Pregnancy a First Since 1990

PM Jacinda Ardern is pregnant, will take 6 weeks of maternity leave
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2018 2:40 AM CST
New Zealand's Prime Minister Is Pregnant
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford announce their pregnancy with their first child to media at press conference in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Ardern announced that she is expecting her first child in June.   (Greg Bowker/New Zealand Herald via AP)

(Newser) – New Zealand's new prime minister has a new baby on the way. Jacinda Ardern, who took office in October, says she and her partner Clarke Gayford are expecting their first child. She says Gayford will be a stay-at-home dad. "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," she tweeted Friday. In a statement, Ardern said Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will be acting prime minister while she is on leave for six weeks after the birth, the AP reports. "Clarke and I are privileged to be in the position where Clarke can stay home to be our primary care-giver. Knowing that so many parents juggle the care of their new babies, we consider ourselves to be very lucky," she said.

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"Clarke and I have always been clear we wanted to be parents but had been told we would need help for that to happen. That's made this news a fantastic surprise," Ardern added. She discovered she was pregnant on Oct. 13, just two weeks before she was sworn in as prime minister. The New Zealand Herald reports that the baby is due in June and couple know the baby's gender, but they are keeping that information private for now. After becoming Labour Party leader in August last year, Ardern was asked about her plans for children, and told reporters that while she would answer such questions, it is "unacceptable" to expect other women to answer them in the workplace. Ardern will be the first world leader to give birth while in office since Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto had a daughter, her second child, while prime minister in 1990, Quartz reports.

(Read more New Zealand stories.)

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