New Zealand's Prime Minister just made history by bringing her newborn onto the floor of the UN
"I am not the first woman to multitask," New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, said in January in response to criticism that she was "betraying [her] voters" by getting pregnant. "I am not the first woman to work and have a baby; there are many women who have done this before."
Now, Ardern - who gave birth to her first child, Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford, back in June - has just made history by bringing her daughter onto the floor of the United Nations general assembly in New York.
Ardern appeared with her three-month-old daughter at the UN on Monday evening, and played with her before delivering a speech at the Nelson Mandela peace summit. While she was onstage, Ardern's partner, Clarke Gayford - who is the child's main caretaker - held Neve on his lap.
Neve is the first-ever infant to attend an official UN assembly, which Ardern explains was a "practical decision". According to CNN, the Prime Minister is currently breastfeeding which means that the infant and Gayford must accompany her on all official business.
Neve even received her own credential to enter the summit. "Because everyone on twitter's been asking to see Neve's UN ID, staff here whipped one up," Gayford - a fishing television presenter - wrote on Twitter. "I wish I could have captured the startled look on a Japanese delegation inside UN yesterday who walked into a meeting room in the middle of a nappy change."
Ardern gave birth to Neve at Auckland Hospital on the 21st June, and returned to work in early August after taking six weeks maternity leave. This makes her the second woman in history to have given birth while heading government. Pakistan's former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto - who was assassinated in 2007 - was the first world leader to do so.
When asked by the Today show whether it was harder to govern New Zealand or to take her newborn on a 17-hour flight, Ardern laughed, saying "It felt at the time on par", revealing that she had apologised to her fellow passengers in advance.
Last week, rules were tweaked in New Zealand to allow the Prime Minister and ministers to travel with a nanny on overseas assignments, and to have the cost covered by the taxpayer.
Ardern has since asserted that she and Gayford have not committed to taking their daughter to more official events, and that they are "playing it by ear", depending on how the infant is affected by travel.
"There is no set plan, it’s just whether or not she’s getting enough sleep, where I am for feeds. They might be with us a lot, they might just be in the hotel," she said.
"It depends what the jet lag does to them both. She’s a good sleeper and we don’t know whether that will mean she ends up sleeping a lot in the day rather than the night."