While women have been giving birth for thousands of years, the “push present” is a far more modern concept.
In fact, I hadn’t heard of the phenomenon until just before I had my first son almost seven years ago. But a friend brought it up at a dinner party recently, and reminded my husband that he had yet another gift-giving occasion on his hands.
If you’ve never heard of the push present, let me enlighten you. Or rather, let me quote directly from Wikipedia: A push present (also known as a push gift, baby mama gift or baby bauble) is a present a father gives to the mother to mark the occasion of her giving birth to their child.
And lest you think, the push present is just another way for the jewelry industry to push more expensive gifts, you should know that gift-giving to commemorate the birth of a child has quite a long history in England and India.
Interestingly, “a 2007 survey of more than 30,000 respondents by BabyCenter found that 38 percent of new mothers received a push present, and 55 percent of pregnant mothers wanted one, though fewer thought it was actually expected. About 40 percent of both groups said the baby itself was already a present and did not wish an additional reward.”
Actress, Kristan Cavallari received an Hermes Birkin Bag ($10,000) for giving birth to her fiancée’s son in 2012, while Jay-Z put a “ring on it” by gifting Beyonce with an oversized blue Tanzanite ring as a tribute to their new daughter Blue Ivy.
Nicole Kidman didn’t even have to actually do the pushing to get a diamond-encrusted Cartier trinity ring from her husband, Keith Urban, after a surrogate delivered their child. And Peggy Tanous, formerly of the Real Housewives of Orange County, received a $200,000 Bentley automobile from her husband after the birth of their daughter in 2007.
While I don’t really ever recall placing pressure on my husband to come up with a push present, he must’ve received that peer pressure elsewhere. Both times I gave birth, he gave me sterling silver chains with pendants bearing the birth dates of our sons.
They were thoughtful tokens of love and appreciation for all my efforts (and trust me, there was plenty of effort on both occasions!) But they were a far cry from some of the ridiculous gifts celebs dole out when their baby mamas turn out more celebrity offspring.
Some parents decry the need for push presents when what new mothers really need is love, support and above all else, sleep! But some spouses say that the gift is to express appreciation for the nine (in actuality 10) long months that their partners have suffered through morning sickness, changes in their bodies and difficult birthing experiences.
So what about you? As a new mother, do you expect push presents when you give birth to a new baby? If you are the significant other, do you feel pressure to reward your spouse or significant other with a token of your appreciation?
Amy Grace is a part-time working mom with two children. You can read her every Friday on momaha.
* * *