A good rule of thumb is to give your gift a few days before or after the birth.
While it might seem logical to wait until after the “pushing” or cesarean birth to give a push present, some gifts work best before the baby arrives. Particularly if it might be useful at the end of the third trimester.
You may also be tempted to present your gift in the delivery room. But remember, the new mom could be overwhelmed or too excited about the baby to receive it well.
Here’s everything you need to know about when, why, and how to give a push present thoughtfully.
Push Present Origin
Rumor has it that the idea of a push gift originated in India hundreds of years ago. They were given to expectant mothers during a ceremony called Godh Bharai, which means “fill the lap with abundance.”
However, much like a Western baby shower, Godh Bharai is traditionally a women-only occasion, where female family members give gifts. So, it doesn’t really explain where the push present from the expectant father came from.
Instead, it seems the tradition started around the 1700s, and grew as men became more involved in pregnancy and birth. Then, in the 1960s, fathers were allowed into delivery rooms, and, unsurprisingly, witnessing labor firsthand convinced many that their partner deserved a reward.
Generally, though, luxury push gifts were a tradition just for the wealthy. Expensive items like fur and diamonds were given in the U.S. and the U.K., and gold was given in India.
Then, in 2008, Jennifer Lopez received a $2,500,000 ring and earring set after the birth of her twins, and the craze took off. Today, more than half of new mothers in the U.S. receive a present after giving birth.
The Best Time to Give a Push Present
You should aim to give your push gift a few days before or after the birth.
Traditionally, presents were given in the delivery room, but we wouldn’t recommend this. No matter how sparkly the diamond is, nothing can compare to cuddling and gazing at a newborn. So your present may not generate the excitement you expect. You also risk it being lost in the haze of going home and the sleep deprivation of the first few days.
Whether you choose to give your gift before or after the birth will depend on what it is:
Give Your Push Present Before the Birth If…
- It is something the mother would want in the first photos with the baby.
- It is something that would help the mother feel more comfortable in late pregnancy.
- Your gift is personalized, but you are confident the details won’t change, i.e. birth month, name, gender, or star sign.
- The expectant mother needs a mood booster.
Give Your Push Present After the Birth If…
- It needs to be personalized with birth weight and/or time.
- It is personalized with the baby’s name, but there’s a chance it could change.
- It may need to be resized post-pregnancy, e.g. a ring.
A thoughtful time to give your gift would be the third day after the birth. This is when estrogen and progesterone levels drop, and new mothers experience the “baby blues.” So, it’s an ideal time to cheer her up with a sweet gift and then help her get some rest.
How to Give a Push Present
Although the last 15 years of celebrity push presents would have you believe that the price tag is what matters, it’s not. Most new moms want something sentimental to mark the occasion, and any gift can be made special with a little extra effort.
Here are our top tips for giving thoughtfully:
- Include a poem or handwritten note. This should be something that comes from the heart.
- Wait until you’re alone. Don’t give your gift in front of friends and family. Let it be a special moment for you both.
- Hide the gift in her hospital bag and ask her to do a final check before birth.
- Decorate the nursery and place the gift in the crib for her to find as you give her the tour.
- Bring her breakfast in bed with the gift on the tray.
- If your gift is a voucher, e.g. for a spa day, include something tangible with it. This could be anything from chocolate or cookies to a facemask or a robe. Something that she can use right away.
Remember, what most new parents want more than anything is some rest. No matter how great your present is, it won’t be well received if she is exhausted. Organizing the cooking, cleaning, and holding the baby while she naps will be the best gift you can give.