New Zealand leader to spend 3rd night in hospital with baby

Hugh Fox
June 26, 2018

Niamh, as it is traditionally spelled, is a name from old Irish mythology, meaning radiance or brightness, but the new parents chose to go with the simpler, modern spelling to avoid a lifetime of people tripping up over it.

"Te Aroha", the name of a rural town on New Zealand's North Island, was chosen to reflect Ms Ardern's family history.

"To me in those moments and those messages, we just saw a reflection of how open and generous New Zealanders are, and that has been the case all the way through", she added before joking: "We're all doing really well".

The baby will be known as Neve Gayford for short. "It was our way of reflecting the amount of love this baby's been shown before she even arrived".

Prime Minister Ardern is the second world leader to give birth in office, and the first elected leader to take maternity leave. Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto gave birth while she was prime minister in 1990.

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"To me, in these moments, in those messages [from people around the country], we found a reflection of the kindness of New Zealand people".

Ardern's office said Saturday she plans to make her first public appearance since the birth when she leaves Auckland City Hospital on Sunday morning.

Speaking publicly for the first time since her delivery on Thursday - which made waves around the world - Ardern said she and her partner Clarke Gayford had settled on the full name of Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford for their first child. She previously said that she was able to do everything because she had "enormous support around me and it makes me quite privileged", refusing the impression that women had to be super human to do all.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has left hospital after giving birth to a baby girl.

All the presents for baby Neve would be passed on to another family once they had been used, Ms Ardern said.

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For the next six weeks while she was off work Ardern said she and Gayford would do what every parent did and figure out things as they went.

Ardern announced she was pregnant back in January, just months after she'd taken office as the country's third female prime minister.

Little Neve was born on Thursday afternoon New Zealand time, weighing 7.3lb, but the prime minister was kept in hospital for three days mainly due to security arrangements.

"I hope for little girls and boys there's a future where they can make choices about how they raise their family and what kind of career they have based on what they want".

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