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The Prime Minister of New Zealand is pregnant!


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It is all so exciting!  Clark (the father) is going to be the stay-at-home dad, and the deputy prime minister will take over for her planned 6-week leave after the birth.  

 

Ruth in NZ

Edited by lewelma
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Apparently, she found out about a week after the election, but 6 days before the swing party chose to form a government with her party, propelling her to Prime Minister. She is 37, and they had been told that they would need help to conceive, so it was very unexpected. She became leader of the Labour party only 7 weeks before the election when the incumbent stepped down because of the poor polling results.  What a couple of months that must have been! 

Edited by lewelma
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Well, having a 'partner' in NZ is equal under the law as being married -- it just sounds odd to an American, which is why I mentioned it. 

 

It just sounds almost crazy to say that NZ has an unmarried, progressive, 37-year old, pregnant, obviously female Prime Minister.   :hurray:

 

++++++++++

 

4:30PM - "I predict we will one day" - marriage on the cards for PM

Speaking to Lloyd Burr on RadioLIVE this afternoon Ms Ardern admitted while marriage was not exactly on the forefront of her mind she thinks she will one day marry her partner Clarke Gayford. 

"We are a really open and tolerant society in New Zealand…  neither of us have a particular stance on marriage," she said

"I predict we will one day, we happen to have done things in reverse a little bit, but that happens in life sometimes too."

Edited by lewelma
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What is the NZ meaning for “first man of fishing� She would be the second lady PM to have a baby while in office I think. The late Pakistan PM Benazir Bhutto was the first.

 

I saw the news on BBC a few hours ago. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/world-asia-42741789

“I’ll be Prime Minister AND a mum, and Clarke will be “first man of fishing†and stay at home dad. â€

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He has a TV program about fishing.  So I think it was just a cute thing to say -- they called him "first man" kind of from the beginning. . He will be stepping down from being a TV presenter to be a full-time stay-at-home dad.   

 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/celebrities/95358661

Edited by lewelma
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The Story is just getting better and better....

 

"I didn't know what it was like to be Prime Minister without being nauseous."

In an interview with Wendyl Nissen on RadioLIVE, Jacinda Ardern said she first felt the effects of morning sickness on the day she was sworn in as Prime Minister.

 

"It fully kicked in the day that I was sworn in as Prime Minister," she said.

"I didn't know what it was like to be Prime Minister without being nauseous."

The Prime Minister says she was aware she got off lightly, saying she has a friend who suffered from far worse morning sickness, and her mother suffered throughout her entire pregnancy.

Edited by lewelma
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I think it will be a good day when the prime minister/president of a country announcing her pregnancy gets as minimal attention as a male prime minister/president announcing his wife/partner is pregnant.

 

I wish them well but it’s sad that everyone is making such a big deal about a normal life activity

 

 

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I think the idea is that the represent a modern family. She is downplaying the situation.

"I am not the first woman to multitask," she said.

"I'm not the first woman to work and have a baby."

However, she said she was aware that these are special circumstances.

 

Also, they are saying that not many top leaders, male or female, have newborns while in office. I'm trying to remember the last time in America. Young children, yes, newborns, no. Will be interesting if she chooses to breastfeed.  Many women, perhaps 60%, here do. 

Edited by lewelma
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Jacinda is currently the 4th youngest serving state leader in the world.  She is 37.  There is a reason that there are not many pregnant state leaders -- most state leaders are too old to have babies if they are also female. Last time it happened (and first time) was 28 years ago.

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 Will be interesting if she chooses to breastfeed.  Many women, perhaps 60%, here do. 

there is a politician in Victoria who breastfed in parliament. someone brought the baby in to her whenever it needed feeding and she fed it . it is very very common to breastfeed in Aus, and to nurse wherever you are.

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Well it is more a big deal than for a man. Physically it is more obvious and exhausting and no one tells a man he can't fly because his wife is 7 months pregnant. I think she will be fine.

 

Interesting though I don't consider he unmarried. She and her partner have been together long enough that I consider it a de facto marriage.

Edited by kiwik
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Tony and Cherie Blair had a baby while he was in office. I can't remember if she continued her career through that.

I think she did but presumably her career had move civilised hours than parliament.

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I think she did but presumably her career had move civilised hours than parliament.

 

She's a barrister, which is pretty full on, but I think she had founded her own chambers by then, so presumably could design her own hours.

 

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Also, they are saying that not many top leaders, male or female, have newborns while in office. I'm trying to remember the last time in America. Young children, yes, newborns, no. Will be interesting if she chooses to breastfeed.  Many women, perhaps 60%, here do. 

 

Patrick Kennedy, born to JFK. Lived two days past birth.

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I don’t think this has been shocking for several generations now. 😂

 

It would still be pretty abnormal for a sitting president to be unmarried and pregnant, though :)  Atheism isn't shocking either, but I don't see the US as a whole electing an atheist (well, an avowed atheist) anytime particularly soon.

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And congratulations to Winston Peters who will be PM for 6 weeks in spite of losing his electorate in the general election and having a party vote percentage of 7.2%. The Labour/NZ First coalition struck me as odd when it was announced. We will see how it works in practice.

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Hooray for progressive countries!

 

Some day this will be so normal students studying history will shake their heads and wonder why it was such a big deal.

 

Some day.

Yeah, this is what I was getting at. I would like to see this day hurry up and arrive.

 

Obviously it would be a big deal if she had complications and had to go on bed rest or something but for a normal, healthy pregnancy I think it is quite sad the amount of attention it is receiving. It reinforces the belief that there is an inherent conflict between motherhood and career greater than the one between fatherhood and career.

 

 

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Hooray for progressive countries!

 

Some day this will be so normal students studying history will shake their heads and wonder why it was such a big deal.

 

Some day.

But some countries I think of as "progressive" seem to have even stronger anti-child bias than "unprogressive". Just look at how few European leaders even have *any* children at all, not just children while in office.

 

Britain + France + German + Italy leaders all have no biological children (though two of them have step-children).

 

Emily

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I'm not convinced it will ever be no big deal.  As I said, by the time someone has enough experience to be the state leader, he/she is typically going to be in the 40s.  I think it will always be unusual (and exciting) to have a pregnant state leader. 

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But some countries I think of as "progressive" seem to have even stronger anti-child bias than "unprogressive". Just look at how few European leaders even have *any* children at all, not just children while in office.

 

Britain + France + German + Italy leaders all have no biological children (though two of them have step-children).

 

Emily

Theresa May and her husband were unable to have childrenhttps://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/11/theresa-may-says-sad-never-became-mother-reveals-christian-faith/amp/

 

Margaret Thatcher had children.

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Theresa May and her husband were unable to have childrenhttps://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/11/theresa-may-says-sad-never-became-mother-reveals-christian-faith/amp/

 

Margaret Thatcher had children.

Emmanuel Macron’s wife was past childbearing age when they got married (she had multiple children with her first husband including one who was a classmate of his). Who knows if they would have wanted children if the age gap were more typical

 

 

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I think it will be a good day when the prime minister/president of a country announcing her pregnancy gets as minimal attention as a male prime minister/president announcing his wife/partner is pregnant.

 

I wish them well but it’s sad that everyone is making such a big deal about a normal life activity

 

Being pregnant while carrying out a demanding job is not at all equivalent to being the spouse of a pregnant woman. If you never had any discomfort that limited your ability to function in pregnancy, that's wonderful for you, but this is not the same for all women.

Morning sickness sucks. So do tiredness, brain fog, limited mobility.

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It reinforces the belief that there is an inherent conflict between motherhood and career greater than the one between fatherhood and career.

 

But there is. Basic biology dictates that fathers do not have to deal with the physical aspects of pregnancy and postpartum, do not suffer from hormone related postpartum depression, and do not breastfeed. Any of the above makes it objectively more difficult for a woman to continue her career postpartum than for a man. That is why civilized countries have maternity leave. Actually, that's why ALL countries except the US have maternity leave. 

Edited by regentrude
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But some countries I think of as "progressive" seem to have even stronger anti-child bias than "unprogressive". Just look at how few European leaders even have *any* children at all, not just children while in office.

 

Britain + France + German + Italy leaders all have no biological children (though two of them have step-children).

 

Emily

Having children has nothing to do with ideology.

 

It isn't that she's pregnant that's progressive (after all, she didn't know), it's that NZ HAS a female prime minister. And is a country that presumably isn't as dismayed or horrified as...others..would be at this time in history.

 

It makes my heart so happy to know that there are places that have very nice things indeed. :)

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This is New Zealand's third female prime minister -- 5 of the past 8 three-year terms have had females in the position. She is agnostic.

 

I think it is Clark's role as stay-at-home dad that is perceived of as progressive, not her being pregnant. 

 

I'm not sure of the details as we've never used it, but parental leave here can be split between the male and female.  It is going up from 18 to 22 weeks. 

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But there is. Basic biology dictates that fathers do not have to deal with the physical aspects of pregnancy and postpartum, do not suffer from hormone related postpartum depression, and do not breastfeed. Any of the above makes it objectively more difficult for a woman to continue her career postpartum than for a man. That is why civilized countries have maternity leave. Actually, that's why ALL countries except the US have maternity leave. 

 

Only a minority of moms get PPD. "Baby blues" is common, but fortunately brief.

 

I'm not a huge fan of Sarah Palin, but one thing I really admire about her was how she didn't let having a bunch of kids and a pregnancy while in office slow her down any. IIRC she didn't even announce her last pregnancy until she was something like 6 months along. She just kept on doing her job as governor and was all "NBD".

 

Babies are blessings, not burdens and if we want women to be able to get ahead, we have to stop treating pregnancy and childbearing as this horrible disability.

 

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I was young and healthy but never found carrying my babies easy (especially in last 2 months), nor did I find 6 weeks near enough time to get anywhere back to normal physically or mentally.  It will be interesting to see how Jacinda handles it.  There would be no way that I would want to be in the public eye for a good 4 month period (2 months pre and 2 months post birth).  I also think that there will be people wondering/expecting her to fail, and if anything goes wrong, will be the first to jump up and down and say "see, I told you so."  This will put enormous pressure on her -- pressure to find the process easy, pressure to be able to handle hormones and high-level office concurrently, pressure to be the model modern woman.  

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Babies are blessings, not burdens and if we want women to be able to get ahead, we have to stop treating pregnancy and childbearing as this horrible disability.

 

But we also should not be in denial that pregnancy and recovery from birth do put a demand on a woman's body.

Rather, we should aim to create working conditions (lie, for example, maternity leave!) that accommodate women who are not able to function at a 100% level while their bodies create and nurture babies - rather than minimizing their realities.

Telling a woman she should be able to function at the same level, because babies are a blessing and pregnancy natural is not helpful.

Edited by regentrude
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But some countries I think of as "progressive" seem to have even stronger anti-child bias than "unprogressive". Just look at how few European leaders even have *any* children at all, not just children while in office.

 

Britain + France + German + Italy leaders all have no biological children (though two of them have step-children).

 

Emily

Just because someone doesn’t have children, it does not follow that they are anti-child.
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I think it will be a good day when the prime minister/president of a country announcing her pregnancy gets as minimal attention as a male prime minister/president announcing his wife/partner is pregnant.

 

I wish them well but it’s sad that everyone is making such a big deal about a normal life activity

 

 

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I don't really see it that way. Most women Prime Ministers/Presidents are well past child bearing age so its not exactly a normal occurrence in this situation. Its garnering attention because its a novelty...it so rarely happens that of course people are interested. I doubt there are many people who are thinking she wont be able to do her job because of it. Its going to be a very popular bubba when its born and I think most people are just excited for her. I'm not even a NZ'er and I'm excited LOL

 

FWIW Australia's only female PM wasn't married either...though she also had a partner. Too old to have babies though.

 

Edited by sewingmama
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I don't really see it that way. Most women Prime Ministers/Presidents are well past child bearing age so its not exactly a normal occurrence in this situation. Its garnering attention because its a novelty...it so rarely happens that of course people are interested. I doubt there are many people who are thinking she wont be able to do her job because of it. Its going to be a very popular bubba when its born and I think most people are just excited for her. I'm not even a NZ'er and I'm excited LOL.

 

 

It was big news when Tony and Cherie Blair had a baby when they were in No. 10 - there hadn't been a new baby in a Prime Minister's family in over a hundred years.

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It was big news when Tony and Cherie Blair had a baby when they were in No. 10 - there hadn't been a new baby in a Prime Minister's family in over a hundred years.

 

Yes I remember that...big news because its so rare.  My favourite famous baby is Prince George  ...people in public office should always have babies so I can drool over them LOL.

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I think it's lovely. I do hope she's able to take the normal difficulties in her stride and that she has a perfectly smooth pregnancy and birth!

 

I have a pregnant friend who is in politics. When her pregnancy became public, some male factional opponents started spreading rumours about her not taking politics seriously. This is 2018! It backfired on that bloke though, my friend kicks butt!

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I think it's lovely. I do hope she's able to take the normal difficulties in her stride and that she has a perfectly smooth pregnancy and birth!

 

I have a pregnant friend who is in politics. When her pregnancy became public, some male factional opponents started spreading rumours about her not taking politics seriously. This is 2018! It backfired on that bloke though, my friend kicks butt!

I honestly don't think any man understands how much stronger women must be to be considered "equal".

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