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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern gives birth to baby girl

The 37-year-old has become just the second elected world leader in modern times to give birth while in office

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, receives Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in Wellington, New Zealand. 3 May 2018. WAM
Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, receives Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in Wellington, New Zealand. 3 May 2018. WAM

Four days after her due date, New Zealand's prime minister has given birth to a baby girl.

Jacinda Ardern uploaded a photo to Instagram announcing her new arrival shortly after 6pm New Zealand time (10am UAE time).

She had arrived at Auckland Hospital earlier that day.

"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."

A post shared by Jacinda Ardern (@jacindaardern) on

The 37-year-old has become just the second elected world leader in modern times to give birth while in office, after the late Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto gave birth to daughter Bakhtawar in 1990.

Ms Ardern’s due date was June 17. The birth has been highly anticipated in the South Pacific nation of nearly five million people. She did not disclose the gender before the birth.

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Deputy prime minister Winston Peters has taken over as acting prime minister, as Ms Ardern planned six week's leave before returning to work.

Under the arrangement, she will still be consulted on major decisions, including issues of national security.

When The National spoke to Ms Ardern ahead of the birth in April, she was quick to silence anyone who suggested she couldn't run the country and be a mother in unison.

"In the period of the last year I've had a by-election, two role changes, I ran an election campaign with no notice, changed an entire campaign in a seven-week period, in that time my grandmother died, I found out I was pregnant, I managed through a coalition negotiation, had a relatively long period of morning sickness – as well as setting up a government.

"I think I can cope," she laughed.

A post shared by Jacinda Ardern (@jacindaardern) on

"I also think there are women every day who manage of all of these things – I just manage to do my job in a public way and I happen to have probably more people than most around me supporting me. I accept that people ask that question, but I'm not worried about it."

The announcement on Instagram was fitting for Ms Ardern, who had also announced her pregnancy in January on the social media site.

That post – 'liked' 49,500 times – was only recently pipped as her most popular by an Ed Sheeran cameo a couple of months later. However, the new arrival announcement looks set to eclipse that in no time – already having racked up 35,000 likes in 30 minutes.