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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern pregnant with first child

Jan. 18 (UPI) — New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced she and her partner Clarke Gayford are expecting their first child in June.

Ardern shared a photo of three fishing hooks representing herself, Gayford and the baby to announce the pregnancy on Thursday.

“Clarke and I are really excited that in June our team will expand from two to three, and that we’ll be joining the many parents out there who wear two hats,” she wrote. “I’ll be Prime Minister and a mum, and Clarke will be ‘first man of fishing’ and stay at home dad.”

Ardern said she and Gayford first learned of the pregnancy on Oct. 13, but they decided to hold off the announcement until after the early stages.

“We consider ourselves lucky for another reason. Clarke and I have always been clear we wanted to be parents but had been told we would need help for that to happen. That’s made this news a fantastic surprise,” she said.

After becoming the youngest woman to lead the country in 150 years when she was elected in October, the 37-year-old Ardern will now become the first New Zealand prime minister to give birth while in office.

The deputy prime minister, Winston Peters, will take on the role of acting prime minister in the six weeks after the baby is born.

“As is the case when I am overseas, Mr Peters will act as Prime Minister, working with my office while staying in touch with me,” Ardern said. “I fully intend to be contactable and available throughout the six week period when needed.”

Ardern had previously clashed with New Zealand media who asked about her plans to start a family when she was elected as leader of the Labor party in August, saying it is “unacceptable” for any employer to ask a woman if she intends to have children or not.

She added she is prepared to “juggle” her responsibilities as a mother and prime minister with the help of the nation.

“We’re going to make this work and New Zealand is going to help us raise our first child,” Ardern said.

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