New Zealand PM stays in hospital with ‘hungry’ baby

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern is only the second world leader to give birth while in office

Wellington (AFP) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is to spend a second night in hospital with her “very alert and hungry” newborn daughter, her office said Friday.

The realities of motherhood have seen plans for a public appearance by the 37-year-old with her baby cancelled twice.

Ardern is only the second world leader to give birth while in office, following Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto whose daughter Bakhtawar was born in 1990.

She has yet to announce the name of the child, but a spokesman for her office said “everyone is doing well if not a bit tired” and Ardern spent a lot of time feeding the baby during the night.

“The nurses described the baby as ‘very alert and one hungry baby’,” the spokesman added.

The baby arrived Thursday afternoon, weighing 3.3 kilogrammes (7.3 pounds).

It is the first child for Ardern and her 40-year-old partner Clarke Gayford, a television fishing personality who will become a stay-at-home dad when she returns to work after six weeks of maternity leave.

Her deputy Winston Peters is now acting prime minister, although Ardern will continue to be consulted on significant issues.

The birth capped an eventful year for Ardern who became prime minister last October, three months after inheriting the leadership of the Labour Party when it was languishing in the polls.

Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari tweeted “congratulations” and shared a link to a news story on how the Pakistani leader showed it was possible to be a mother and a prime minister.