Jacinda Ardern baby gives New Zealand's opposition sleepless nights

Jacinda Ardern baby gives New Zealand's opposition sleepless nights

Jacinda Ardern baby gives New Zealand's opposition sleepless nights

She learned of her pregnancy just six days after learning she would be prime minister.

The baby is expected in June, and plans are for the deputy prime minister to take over for six weeks.

Ardern, 37, became New Zealand's youngest prime minister since 1856 when she formed a centre-left coalition in October.

"In fact, we have for a long time invited family members to the beginning of our political year", the PM said.

New Zealand's Prime Minister had a surprise announcement for her electorate earlier today: she's pregnant.

"Motherhood is a strength that we have and its difficulties we need to work with", she said during a press circuit, with her one-year-old daughter by her side.

Two of New Zealand's former prime ministers were among the first to offer congratulations.

"I am not the first woman to work and have a baby".

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Ardern is one of the very few examples of an elected leader holding office while pregnant. Which makes sense, considering her partner, Clarke Gayford, hosts a fishing and cooking program called "Fish of the Day", according to CNN.

"And, New Zealand is going to help us raise our first child ..."

Ardern's rise to power has generated intense interest in her personal life and drew comparisons with other youthful leaders such as France's Emmanuel Macron and Canada's Justin Trudeau.

"It is a woman's decision about when they choose to have children and it should not predetermine whether or not they are given a job or have job opportunities", she said. Ardern, who identifies as a feminist, went on to explain that she'll be wearing "two hats" after she has her child, serving as both "Prime Minister AND a mum".

"An important first (as far as I know)". Ardern said she was surprised her comments were picked up overseas.

Ardern's maternity leave is particularly short compared to New Zealand law, where women are entitled to 22 weeks of paid parental leave after giving birth. In 1990, Pakistan's Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto made history as the first.

Ardern's announcement is rare for world leaders.

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