Push Presents – Yes, please! Or, unnecessary?
On her visit over after her first baby was born, my sister-in-law walked confidently into my house, clad in crisp jeans and brown leather boots.
“Wow!” I said. “You look great. I love those boots. Are those new?”
“Oh, yeah,” she replied with a slight laugh. “They were my push present!”
My sister-in-law’s “push present”—new boots.
Push [poosh] pre?sent [pres-uh-nt]. Noun. A gift bestowed unto a mother upon the completion of her pregnancy and delivery of her newborn child by her partner.
In realizing that I am about three push presents overdue, I had to wonder. Are push presents the new norm?
The term “push present” is clearly a play on words for a present given to a mother after she “pushes” a baby out, but is obviously not limited to vaginal deliveries only.
Push presents actually have a long history originating in other countries like England and India, where women are routinely gifted with jewelry. The trend made its way to the U.S. in the early 1990’s, with push presents becoming more and more popular as celebrities (Adele got a 5,000 necklace!) receive them and advertisers start marketing them.
Some view push presents as a sign of a growing awareness by men of the difficulty that women actually go through with pregnancy and delivery. It’s a way for a man—who let’s face it, can never actually understand what we go through—to acknowledge the morning sickness, the weight gain, the contractions, or the c-section.
Push presents can vary from the simple, like Teen Mom NYC, who was gifted with “homemade soup” to the grand, like Gerri Mitchell Kimble, who received a pair of diamond earrings she plans to pass on to her daughter someday. The most common push presents seem to revolve around some sort of jewelry, designed to make an exhausted new mother feel pretty again, or my personal favorite, comfort food.
Not everyone views push presents as a sweet gesture, however. Leah Outten of O Momma Writes sees her baby as the only worthwhile push present. “Besides, that, I never felt the need for one,” she said.
While I am certainly not bemoaning the fact that I haven’t received any push presents after the birth of any of our three children, I can’t say that I would turn down any type of present from my husband. I think that a push present can be sweet gesture to help a new mom feel loved and acknowledged through a time is exhausting and overwhelming.
So what do you think? Are push presents thoughtful or unnecessary? Did you receive one?
Image via Chaunie Brusie/Photo by J&J Brusie Photography