- By Kalendra Withana
Jacinda Arden, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, has given birth to her first child - a healthy baby girl weighing 3.31kg.
This event makes Arden the second elected leader in history to give birth while being in office. In 1990, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto gave birth to her daughter while serving for her country.
The baby was born at 16:45 NZ Time, and Ms Arden publicly expressed her delight on social media, posting a picture of her and her partner Clarke Gayford with their new-born.
“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. We’re all doing really well thanks to the wonderful team at Auckland City hospital.”
The 37-year-old Prime Minister has received a handful of warm congratulations from her political colleagues, as well from US Ambassador Scott Brown.
Furthermore, former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark has praised Ms Arden, stating:
“Jacinda’s done it her way, what a remarkable story.
“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.”
Ms Arden is due to take six weeks of maternity leave, and her political duties have now been passed on to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. Peters himself said in a statement:
“It’s a happy day and on behalf of the coalition government we wish her and Clarke all the very best.”
In spite of her leave however, Ms Arden has reassured that she would still remain in charge by continuing to read cabinet papers while she stays close to home.
In an interview with Radio New Zealand, Ms Arden said:
"I am not the first woman to multitask. I am not the first woman to work and have a baby; there are many women who have done this before,"