New Zealand's Prime Minister has just given birth while in office
"I am not the first woman to multitask," New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, said in January in response to criticism that she was "betraying [her] voters" by getting pregnant. "I am not the first woman to work and have a baby; there are many women who have done this before."
Ardern, who was elected to office in November last year, has now given birth to her first child, making her the second woman in history to have given birth while at the head of government.
The 37-year-old politician took to Instagram to confirm that she had given birth to her first child, a baby girl. Pictured with her daughter, who has since been named Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford, and her partner, Clarke Gayford, Ardern wrote in the caption:
"Welcome to our village wee one. 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."
After the birth of Neve, Ardern informed the media that she hopes that the "novelty" of having a Prime Minister who has given birth in office will soon wear off. "I hope for little girls and boys that there is a future where they can make choices about how they raise their family and what sort of career they have, which is based on what they want and what makes them happy."
Coincidentally, Neve shares a birthday with Pakistan's former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, who was the first female world leader to give birth while in office. Bhutto, who welcomed a daughter during her tenure in 1990, was assassinated in 2007.
The Prime Minister said that the name "Te Aroha" was chosen to reflect the support she'd received from the public while she was expecting, especially that of the Māori community. "I thought how do I reflect the generosity, particularly of all the iwi who gifted us names – and Te Aroha seemed to be a way," Ardern explained.
"Te Aroha was something we settled on quite early. It was our way of reflecting the amount of love this baby’s been shown before she even arrived," she continued, before adding that it's also a tribute to the Te Aroha mountain on New Zealand's North Island, which is close to Ardern’s hometown of Hamilton. "It’s the place where all my family are from. I grew up under that mountain."
She added that those who think that Neve's name is "particularly long" should take a look at her own "ridiculously long name": Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern. "I think I counted it out," Ardern quipped. "it’s the same number of letters."
Well, congratulations are certainly in order to Jacinda and Clarke on their new addition.