Push Presents – Yes, please! Or, unnecessary?

push boots

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.

 

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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

What do you think?

Push Presents – Yes, please! Or, unnecessary?

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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44 comments

  1. I never heard of push presents until reading a preggo magazine at the OB office while pregnant with our 6th child! It sounds silly to me, but to each her own.

  2. Nicole says:

    Never heard of ‘Push Present” before reading this article, but my husband did give me a gift after delivery

  3. Ami says:

    If a woman gets a “push” present, what about those mothers who had their kids early and had to be “cut” open and then spend many days in the hospital with their preemie. And what about women who had to do all that alone without a partner? Or even family support?

  4. Angelica says:

    I though the baby was the gift? * shrugs shoulders*

  5. Abigail says:

    I think push presents are a very kind and thoughtful gesture. I was gifted with diamond stud earrings when I had my son (born in April – it is his birthstone.) Not only is it something I’d always secretly wanted, but it is his birthstone! A very thoughtful gift from my very thoughtful, helpful, and loving husband. It did not take the place of his being there for the birth, carrying things and cooking for me throughout the pregnancy, or getting up at night once the baby arrived. It was just a sweet gesture to express his appreciation and gratitude for 9 months my putting our son’s well being ahead of my own. Besides, he can only take 50% credit for the "gift" of our son! 😉

  6. Theresa says:

    Never heard of it! My beautiful, healthy baby boy was all the present I needed! My husband always says how proud of me he was/is for doing such a great job. It was a blessing just to have his presence and support in the delivery room. It saddens me that our society has gotten so shallow and materialistic to think women need a gift to feel pretty or appreciated after childbirth! You’re only as beautiful as you feel and if you’re never made to believe that you, yourself, are a beautiful human being, then it doesn’t matter what gifts you receive.

  7. My husband bought me a beautiful silver chained necklace with a charm on it that had both my birthstone and our daughters birthstone in it that symbolized a mother with her newborn child. When he first told me he had bought me a push gift I told him it was not necessary but he insisted. I made sure that I had something special for him as well and gave it to him the day of our daughters birth. It was a simple picture frame that said Daddy’s girl and I bought him a card to go with expressing all my feelings over the last couple of months and what laid ahead of us. We are now expecting twins and I am excited to add two more little charms to the necklace and tell our kids the story of their births. I am glad the gift came from his heart and he did it because he wanted to do something special for me, not because I needed or wanted it, but I will treasure it that is for sure.

  8. This is the first I’ve heard about "push presents". I must be out of the loop. LOL

  9. Tabi says:

    I totally believe that my push present was a beautiful healthy baby girl. And as for my husband doing something to show he understands my struggle? He took a 3 week vacation from work to help me with the baby and even watched her at night so I could get some sleep. He may not have gone out and bought me something, which I would not have turned down, but I still feel like he appreciated what I had to go through. He made life as a new (and healing) mom a whole lot easier.

  10. Esther says:

    I don’t think it’s necessary, but if the gift is from the heart for the appreciation of the hard work and sacrifices you’ve made through out the pregnancy…..then I’d say it is well deserved!! I didn’t get one with my first daughter and don’t expect one with this one either.

  11. Zahra says:

    There’s just something about push presents that has an "Ick" factor for me. I find them incredibly paternalistic. Part of that might be because my grandma received a push present for each of her boys that was born, but nor for her daughter’s birth. Still, it really gives me a "Good girl" vibe (which immediately wants to me go "Woof!").

  12. Patricia says:

    Are you kidding me? I had a very difficult pregnancy and spent five weeks in the hospital! Materialistic, I think not if only everyone’s husband could or would appreciate what they have done to create this amazing gift of a healthy child! I hope you all are as lucky as I was for a wonderful husband who so kindly validated my hard work in creating our beautiful child! Every woman deserves that but only a few men will step up and acknowledge it!

  13. Annette says:

    My kids father was amazed at how well the delivery went. He was so suprised and thankful that I handled the delivery so well. His daughters mom he said was throwing a fit in the delivery room. I know every pregnancy isn’t the same, and neither are the deliveries.

  14. liznos says:

    One of the coolest things I ever heard a dad do was talk about how amazing his wife was for giving birth to his babies. So regarding the need for a push present, I think people may underestimate the power of a ‘thank you’ and a bit of bragging to your friends about your partner’s general awesomeness. For instance, to show how much I appreciated that while I was stuck in bed with morning sickness my husband would get up early and make us breakfast every day for three months, I took every chance I could to compliment his acts in front of our mutual friends. Just knowing that I was appreciative made him happy. I think a great ‘push present’ would be for him to brag about me (and what I will go through) giving birth. On a side note, to keep things fair for my hubby, I got him an insemination present to acknowledge his biological contribution. So, if diamond earrings for me (from him) appear in the recovery room, I certainly won’t turn them down 😉

  15. Kacie says:

    I received a "push present" from my husband after our daughter was born without expecting it. My husband said it was because I did such an amazing job during labor and birth and it wasn’t fair that everyone was coming with presents for the baby and not me. He got me roses and a new bead for my pandora bracelet. It was really sweet. Yes, my baby was the best present I could receive but it was nice to feel appreciated. 🙂

  16. anwooddell says:

    I would never ask for a push present.. I just ask for my husband to be present at our daughters birth and maybe a nice weekend to sleep in. and maybe he could cook a nice dinner or a date night after she is older..

  17. SARA BURD says:

    I think it’s absolutely ridiculous!!! It took us four years, fertility, and much heartache and tests before we were able to have out miracle baby!!! Someone else in our lives got pregnant within a few months of getting off her birth control and got a $1300.00 camera! While I admit to be a little envious of the women who are fertile myrtles, it was extremely insulting to me and women alike who struggle for years!! My "push gift" was the beautiful son that will forever be priceless!!!

  18. JWilMommy says:

    I have always wondered about this. I’ve never heard of "push presents" before reading this article, but after having kids it seemed like the mom does all the work, but every year on their birthday the kid gets all the congratulations. I never wanted a push present, but an acknowledgement each year on my daughter’s birthday that I went through all that effort to bring her into the world would be nice, just a thank you, not some expensive gift or anything.

  19. Davina says:

    I am a mother of 5 and I never got a so called ‘push present.’ While yes, it is thoughtful and all that with 5 kids (13yrs – 9mths.) its hard to enough to stay afloat some months. So, I’d settle for a nice weekend of sleeping in, no cleaning or cooking, and a lovely evening out that I didn’t have to make the decision where to go or eat cold food cause I’m dealing with the baby. Just put some thought into it and that is all GREAT with me!!!! LOL… Until now I had never heard the expression before though.

  20. Valerie says:

    never heard of the expression though a friend of mine received a diamond ring for each of her newborn child… I guess this is something my hubby did not even think about… LOL

  21. For me a Push Present is necessary it shows that your Labor was appreciated by your significant other,since its only so much they can do to participate in labor & delivery. it doesn’t have to be expensive. My Husband sent an edible arrangement and a bottle of wine!….and it was appreciated!!

  22. Evelyn says:

    I don’t understand why people are assuming anyone asks for the push present. I didn’t need or ask for one, but was so thrilled my hubby and my mama got me push presents. It was such a nice surprise added to the extreme joy of having my son. I had a emcs, so hubby did all the work for at least a week after and was happy to do so. He still shares all the care and its a year later. Babies are coming out whether there are a push present or not, to me it is just a sweet gesture.

  23. Denise says:

    Completely unnecessary and shouldn’t be expected or demanded.

    If I want some sort of expensive loot for dropping calf like women have done for thousands of years, I’ll buy it for myself.

  24. Nan says:

    Haha pretty much (: And someone to cook and keep you both comfy!

  25. Nan says:

    Actually, now that I think about it- a push present doesn’t sound different from the other gifts I got in the delivery room. Most people brought flowers, balloons, and chocolate. Most of the gifts didn’t last. But the two most precious items I got were a necklace and a sock monkey from my friend’s small bookstore/novelty store. They bring back warm memories. Maybe a push present isn’t so bad if it’s something meaningful!

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