Mothers in Parliament: The women who paved the way for Jacinda Ardern

While Jacinda Ardern is our first Prime Minister to have a baby in office, she is following in the footsteps of many other MPs who have given birth while serving in Parliament.

Babies have been accompanying their parents to Parliament for nearly 50 years.

May-Ana Tirikatene-Sullivan grew up running up and down the corridors of Parliament, which she says was an "extraordinary playground".

"I learned how to skate there, I learned how to ride my bicycle up and down the corridor on the fleur de lis carpet."

Her mother, Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan, was the first woman to give birth while an MP in 1970. Not even two weeks later she was back at her desk, with baby May-Ana in tow.

"It was like my home," she says. "Well, it was my home."

At the time, her father Denis didn't think their personal moment would make history.

"It's only later on that it started to become clearer that it is something of a milestone," he says.

Not content with cracking through one glass ceiling, Whetu was also the first cabinet minister to have a baby - not just in New Zealand, but the entire Commonwealth.

"I'm very proud of the fact that Whetu did actually pave the way," Mr Sullivan says. "It's a long time back and people sort of forget that."

While she changed the course of history, there was something she wasn't so great at changing.

"Dad changed our nappies," says May-Ana.

As children, she and her brother Tiri felt they had the run of Parliament.

"I could wander in and out of MPs' offices," she says. "I knew the MPs that had chocolate."

But those who followed her mother's lead don't have such fond memories of being a mum in parliament.

"I think for most working mothers it's tough, but I think Parliamentary life is another level again," says Katherine Rich.

In 2002 she made history by becoming the first MP to take her baby Georgia into the debating chamber to feed her.

"I went in there, did what I needed to do, did what Georgia needed me to do, and that was that."

It was her parliamentary colleagues, not her daughter, who made it hard.

"I was delivering a speech and a fellow female MP shouted out, 'Go home to your kids'," says Ms Rich. "It stopped me in my tracks."

These days, Parliament is more family-friendly. While his wife isn't around to see it, Denis knows she'd appreciate it.

"She would have felt proud that she established a path in a sense, and made it more natural that that sort of thing can happen."

The Prime Minister having a baby is just the latest in a long line of personal moments making political history.