Pregnancy & Birth

Jacinda Ardern’s pregnancy: What you need to know

Your questions on the Prime Minister's pregnancy answered!
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Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford today revealed that they are due to have a baby later this year.

Here’s what you need to know about our first prime ministerial pregnancy!

When did she find out?

The Prime Minister said she found out on October 13. Clarke was away filming for his fishing TV show and she video-called him via Facebook. He was in the bathroom at the time and said it was “quite the reveal” and a “big shock.”

Ardern and the Labour party were in coalition talks with Winston Peters at the time.

When is she due?

The baby is due in June.

What’s the gender of the baby?

The couple say they know the gender of the baby but would like to keep it a secret for now.

How much time is she taking off?

She plans to take six weeks off work.

“I take very seriously the role of becoming a mum… but equally take seriously the role of being Prime Minister of New Zealand.”

Has she had morning sickness?

Ardern said she had pretty bad morning sickness for the first three months (while establishing a government!) but managed to not bring attention to the fact that she was pregnant.

Is she entitled to maternity leave?

No. Elected officials are not eligible for paid parental leave.

The Government’s Bill increasing paid parental leave to 22 weeks from July next year and to 26 weeks from July 2020 passed late last year.

The scheme kicks in on July 1, 2018.

Is she the first female Prime Minster to be pregnant in office?

No. Pakistan’s leader Benazir Bhutto had a baby in 1990 while she held the office of Prime Minister.

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Jenny Shipley’s children were also young while she was leader.

Arderen said she is being careful to avoid saying she is the “first” of anything. “Many women carved a path,” she said.

Who will take care of the baby?

Partner Clarke Gayford will take a break from his role as TV presenter to look after their child.

“We’re both privileged and lucky Clarke will be able to do that job full time.”

“New Zealand will help us raise New Zealand’s first child.”

Will the baby take her surname?

No, Ardern said that the new baby will take Gayford’s surname.

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Will they move to Wellington?

The couple say they plan to continue to live in Pt Chevalier in Auckland as they have friends and family close by, but wouldn’t rule out living in Wellington.

Who will run the country while she’s on maternity leave?

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will take over the role while she takes a break from politics for six weeks.

On behalf of my New Zealand First colleagues we wish the Prime Minister and her partner every joy during the next several months as they adapt to a new challenge,” the New Zealand First leader said in a media release.

“Ours is a novel coalition in many respects and the Prime Minister’s announcement only reinforces its unique qualities.

“We are committed to supporting the Prime Minister during the months ahead to continue to provide a good and stable government.

“We understand that no matter what level a person operates on family life is important.”

Will she be able to attend the royal wedding?

Earlier this week she said she hadn’t yet received an invite to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, however as it occurs a month before she is due to give birth is is unlikely that she would attend.

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