Push Presents – An Overview

The miracle of life is the best gift you can ever receive. However, you might want to get your partner something special for the tough experience of pregnancy. This practice has been around for ages but is recently becoming more popular.

If you feel compelled to get your partner a push present, think about your reasons first, and whether or not it would be appropriate. What you get should also be appropriate. No one wants to deliver to get something unfitting in return.

This tradition started a long time ago and has a history in several different cultures.

How it Started

It is unclear when this tradition started. Some claim that it was invented by the jewelry industry to sell more products. While this would make sense, the idea of a push present has been around for a lot longer than the jewelry industry as we know it.

Push presents have widely been talked about between people and not necessarily a widespread idea. Word of mouth and peer pressure had an effect on getting things to how they are now.

Archaeologists have theorized that men have been giving these presents to their partners for thousands of years. It is, however, non-existent in other areas of the world. Soon, however, the word may spread, and significantly more countries will start a tradition for push presents.

Push presents have become increasingly popular since celebrities started giving their wives lavish, expensive gifts after giving birth. Mariah Carey received a diamond and sapphire ring when she had twins with Nick Cannon.

Traditional Presents

In England, jewelry is a standard gift. Land was another traditional gift, ensuring that the mother had wealth in case she had to fend for herself.

In India, women are given gold jewelry for giving birth. Usually, these gold baubles are more intricate when the mother has a boy.

Different Cultures

In England, this trend is mostly seen as a nouveau riche practice. This means that people that are coming into new money lavish each other with these kinds of gifts. That is the general idea, at least. However, there are still plenty of people who give these gifts on a more casual scale at a lower rate.

The United States has taken their own spin on the push present. Cars, baby accessories, et cetera, have all been given as presents. This does not mean jewelry is not involved. Do not worry, it is. It is highly doubtful that jewelry will ever go out of style, regardless of the reasons for it.

Modern Push Presents

Jewelry is the most common push present, as it has been a part of the tradition since its establishment. However, other presents have started to become common, especially since its introduction to the United States. The more that people know about it, the more creative the ideas get. There are many to choose from, and luckily, they are all not materialistic things. For those who oppose for that reason, that is another way to go.

Here is a list of things that could make for great push presents.

  • Indulge the new mom’s appetite. If it is okay to eat while breastfeeding, make a plate of foods that she loved before the pregnancy. Sushi, cured meats, and soft cheeses make a great postpartum surprise meal.
  • A weekend at the spa or a mani-pedi after nine months of backaches and bad skin will most likely be welcomed with appreciation – if you can tear her away from her new baby, that is.
  • Bling. Heartfelt jewelry is always a good way to go. Charm necklaces or bracelets that commemorate your baby are perfect.
  • Birthstone items. You can give her something with the new baby’s birthstone or even hers. Another wedding band can even be really sweet.
  • Affection. Sometimes all that is needed is some attention and affection. Seeing signs and balloons about your new baby when you get home for the first time might be heartwarming and cause a more pleasant arrival home.
  • Flowers, balloons, pictures, anything you want to decorate the hospital room is a great present. Pictures of the new baby or your family all together is a sweet touch.
  • Go through the wish list of things you want but are putting off. Get something cute and ready for your partner or baby.
  • Be a good partner. Does this even count as a present? However, this is a free gift that can bring the two of you together. Through all the trials of pregnancy, she is still going to need you to support her, if not more than ever. Back rubs, foot rubs, picking up extra chores, et cetera – these are all kind deeds to do for your partner after she has a baby.

What Women Think

Not every woman feels the same way about these presents. A survey in 2007 found that out of 30,000 participants, 55% of pregnant mothers wanted a push present. It also found that 38% of new mothers received one.

The study also found that another 40% said that the baby is their present, and did not want another reward. This shows that there is certainly a range of opinions. Push presents are a kind gesture but one that it is often confused with an obligation. Some people expect a push present to be involved with any delivery. However, the thought is what matters, so having it as an obligation kind of sours the deal, right?

Another portion of women finds push presents creepy. The whole idea is kind of bonkers. Giving a diamond for having a baby. Really? That does not really make up for the nine months of carrying another life inside of you.

The term can make you squeamish in itself. Again, it is kind of creepy. It would make so much more sense if the couple exchanged gifts instead. That way, the partner will not feel as left out since all the attention will soon be on the baby.

This is not saying that you should not get a ‘push present’ if you want to. It is great if you do. Just know your reasons for it and do it because you want to. If your partner is pressuring you, talk to her about it. That is the only way you will understand each other and come to an agreement or compromise.

The intimacy of such a present can be seen as out of place or inappropriate. This is why going the mutual present road might be a good idea. If you both get each other something, it can be an even more intimate moment, much needed in between the time of pregnancy to right after delivery.

Sometimes a push present can be seen as tacky. This is why it is important to figure out if giving one to your partner is even a good idea. The fact that celebrities are getting ridiculous presents and some women are even getting expensive cars shows that this trend really did start in the upper class. Why else would push presents traditionally be gold and diamonds?

When to Give

Should you even give a push present? There are some things to consider before you head to the jewelry store with your credit card. Your financial situation and your partner’s feelings about it are just a couple of things to consider.

  • Budget
    • You are having a baby. Can you honestly afford to splurge on something that may or may not be useful in the long term?
    • Consider using the money to save for the child’s education or in a college fund. This would be more useful than a diamond ring, and can still be considered a gift.
  • How does she feel?
    • Has she made it clear that she wants something? Does she even know about this tradition?
      • If not, it may be really cool to surprise her. Otherwise, talk to her and see what she thinks.
    • How do you think she would feel about one?
      • If you are confident in her reaction, go for it. There is nothing like a surprise for bringing a new life into the world.
    • How does she feel about materialism in general? The answer to this and the previous question should really help figure out if getting a push present is right for your new family.

When during the pregnancy should you give your partner this gift? Around the end of the third trimester, you should start thinking about how you are going to go about it. There are a few options that you have, and all of them depend on a number of factors.

  • Before Labor
    • Giving the present before labor can prevent issues during or after. If you are able to have a moment together before the big event, it may be the right time.
    • However, since it is indeed called a ‘push’ present, you may want to wait until after the actual pushing.
  • During Labor
    • If some moment during labor it feels right, go for it. It is not exactly common practice, however. If your partner happened to ask for it this way, then by all means, go ahead.
    • The pain killers and other medications she may be on can make the experience easier for her. It can also make it a really bad time for gift giving. If there are no pain killers, then it is probably a better idea to wait or present the gift after the baby is born.
  • After Labor
    • Right after labor you may have a moment where they baby is preoccupied. You can give your present then, and it might even be the best time to do it. That of course depends on what your present is. If it something that has to wait, it must wait. We can talk about that in the next point.
    • After labor can be a bad time since your partner will possibly be on medications that make her loopy.
  • After You Come Home
    • Another idea is to wait until your love gets home and present the gift to her in the comfort of your own home. This is much more intimate, going along with the intimate nature of the present itself.
    • If your gift is simply helping her out and being at her beck and call, this is clearly the way to do it, but should not start right when you get home. It should start at the hospital, before labor, during pregnancy even. The support of a partner is what a new mother really needs in her life.

Push presents are seen in different ways in different cultures.  There has even been some backlash about them from couples who would prefer less materialistic things. You can do those things and still have it be a gift of sorts.

The history of push presents is uncertain, but India and England have the most history with them. Golden baubles and other jewelry are signature gifts in those parts of the world. The jewelry industry may or may not use these presents to their advantage, but are certainly not responsible for its introduction.

Word of mouth and peer pressure is one of the major ways this practice came about. The father is expected to give the mother a gift. In this case, it can be problematic. Forcing your partner to do anything is wrong. If problems are surrounding the idea, talk it out. You will most likely be able to come to a compromise. You can only be asked for so much before you burn out, and you have to be there for your partner when he or she does.

Nonetheless, knowing all of this about push presents, it is up to you to decide which way you want to go. Whether it be the all-out route with diamonds or the nothing at all route, your new baby is going to be the biggest gift for the both of you. Be sure to keep that in mind when making your decision.