The Prime Minister of New Zealand Will Be the First World Leader in Nearly 30 Years to Give Birth While in Office
New Zealand’s PM has been breaking all sorts of barriers with her tenure. Once elected in October, Jacinda Ardern became the world’s youngest female head of government. Now the politician has announced her pregnancy, making her the first world leader since 1990 to give birth while serving in office.
Addressing the media in Auckland on Friday, the PM and her longtime partner, Clarke Gayford, shared the news that the first family would be expanding by June of this year. “I’ll be Prime Minister AND a mum, and Clarke will be ‘first man of fishing’ and stay-at-home dad,” Ardern said (Gayford hosts a cooking and fishing show for New Zealand TV called Fish of the Day, hence the fishing joke).
The pregnancy was a surprise for the couple, as Ardern told reporters they’d been told that they would need help in getting pregnant, although the news was definitely welcomed by the pair.
The last time that a world leader gave birth in office was also the first time a world leader has ever given birth in office: Pakistan’s former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto. Bhutto’s daughter, Bakhtawar, was born in 1990, the second of the former PM’s three children.
Ardern, a former DJ, was a long-term political activist for the country’s left-leaning Labour Party, and was elected her party’s head by unanimous vote last year. During her rise in politics, the country was gripped with “Jacindamania” over their love of their now-PM.
There is currently no word on if Ardern will take maternity leave, or for how long, once her baby arrives.
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(Photos via Hagen Hopkins + Hannah Peters/Getty Images)