Jacinda Ardern tweets she’s pregnant; New Zealand's former prime ministers react

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New Zealand Labour leader Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand Labour leader Jacinda Ardern speaks to the press after leader of New Zealand First party Winston Peters announced his support for her party in Wellington, New Zealand, October 19, 2017. Reuters/Charlotte Greenfield

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s pregnancy was confirmed by the opposition leader herself on Friday. Two of NZ's former prime ministers were among the first to wish her well.

Ardern took to social media to share her excitement about having her family expand from two to three. She said she will be a prime minister and a mum while her partner Clarke Gayford will be “first man of fishing” and stay-at-home dad. She is expected to give birth to her first child with Gayford in June.

It was in October when she learned she was pregnant. But like many couples do in the early stages, the couple opted to keep it to themselves.

Ardern and Gayford had always hoped to have a child but were told they would need help for that to happen. So when she learned about her pregnancy, it came as a surprise. The 37-year-old added it was both unexpected and exciting.

National Party opposition leader Bill English and Former Prime Minister Helen Clark were among the first to congratulate the mum-to-be. Clark said she wishes Ardern and Gayford all the best as they expect their first child. "A super busy year coming up and much to look forward to - Every woman should have the choice of combining family & career,” she wrote on Twitter.

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox and US Ambassador Scott Brown were also among the first well-wishers. Ardern’s social media followers expressed excitement about her pregnancy, with one saying she and the baby “will change the course of history forever.”

Ardern is expected to be on parental leave after she gives birth. She had reportedly asked Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters to be acting prime minister for six weeks.

In a statement on the government's website, Ardern said Peters will be working with her office while staying in touch with her. She added she fully intends to be contactable and available throughout the six-week period when needed.

When Ardern was asked last year whether she had made "a choice between having babies and having a career,” she said that question was "totally unacceptable in 2017."

"It is a woman's decision about when they choose to have children and it should not predetermine whether or not they are given a job or have job opportunities," she said at that time.

Ardern was a former DJ. She became New Zealand's youngest female prime minister in October.

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