What is a Push Present?

The months of pregnancy had flown by in excited anticipation for Olivia and her husband Noah. On a quiet Tuesday morning, amidst contractions and words of encouragement from her midwife, Olivia gave one final push. The sounds of a healthy baby crying suddenly filled the room.

As Olivia held her newborn son for the first time, tears of joy streamed down her face. Noah leaned in, overcome with pride for his incredible wife. “I know it’s early...” he whispered, “but I wanted you to have something special.” He revealed a tiny box holding a gold necklace with three birthstones—one for each member of their new family.

Olivia clasped her hands to her face in surprise. She hadn’t been expecting a gift like this so soon after delivery. But the sentiment behind this “push present” touched her deeply. The phrase "push present" refers to a gift presented to mothers following childbirth, so what is a push present exactly? For Olivia, it was a meaningful symbol of their baby’s arrival and her triumph through an intense labor of love.

Stories like Olivia’s have popularized push presents—gifts presented to mothers following childbirth. While extravagant diamonds from Jay Z to Beyonce may grab headlines, most push presents are heartfelt gestures of appreciation. As we explore the origins and evolving tradition of push presents, remember they need not be over-the-top. The most precious gifts celebrate new life and honor a mother’s journey.

We’ve interviewed a variety of mothers for their push present stories, ideas, and perspectives. Let’s dive in!

What is a Push Present?

A push present, also known as a 'baby bauble,' is a gift presented to a mother after giving birth. It's a way to celebrate the hard work and emotional and physical effort that went into delivering bubs, especially during the "pushing" stage of labor. Typically, it's the spouse or partner who gives the gift, but couples may also exchange gifts as a way of appreciating one another at this special time. And let's be clear: mothers who have c-sections absolutely deserve push gifts too.

Where Did Push Presents Originate?

Push presents date back hundreds of years to India. The roots of this tradition lie in a ceremonial event known as Godh Bharai, much like the baby showers we know today. During the ceremony, the family celebrates and blesses the mother-to-be and presents gifts, such as lavish food, jewelry, and family heirlooms. In addition to being showered with push presents, the mother is offered the invaluable gift of rest and a break from errands and chores.

Push Presents in the 20th Century

The concept of push presents has started to grow in popularity today thanks in large part to social media and celebrity news. You may remember J.Lo's 2.5 million-dollar earrings or Kim Kardashian's million-dollar choker necklace. Today, push present jewelry is particularly popular as it serves as a lasting reminder of the special day.

Thoughtful Push Present Ideas

If you're feeling a little intimidated by the extravagant and outlandish push presents seen on social media, don't be. A push present can be anything the person giving birth will love and find meaningful, and which of course is also in your budget.

Here are some push gift ideas to give you inspiration:

  • A necklace or earrings set with the baby's birthstone
  • A vacation, also known as a "babymoon"
  • A hamper of foods commonly avoided during pregnancy
  • Some relaxing yoga sessions
  • Luxury sheets – you both deserve quality sleep
  • A top-of-the-range coffee machine – you'll need it
  • A warm and plush robe for those early morning nursing or bottle feeds

Push presents don't need to be grand or expensive. Even a pair of comfortable slippers can hold great meaning. The path to parenthood is not without its challenges. Whether it was a smooth ride, a bit tough, or somewhere in between, a meaningful push present can be the cherry on top of the cake.

Push Presents - Empowering or Promoting Unhealthy Expectations?

While push presents are intended to honor a mother's journey, opinions differ on whether this tradition is empowering or promotes unhealthy expectations.

Anna, a new mother of twins, feels the practice leaned more toward the latter for her: “I ended up feeling disappointed when my husband showed up empty-handed after the births. Social media made me anticipate some kind of gift when it shouldn’t have been an obligation.”

Her husband, Miguel, wishes he had known giving a push present was something she wanted: “I didn’t know this was even a thing. Of course I’m thankful for everything Anna went through, but no one told me I was supposed to bring a present to the hospital.”

On the other hand, Danielle found push presents to be an empowering custom after an intense childbirth experience: “My partner surprised me with a necklace and that was really special. I earned it after 42 hours of labor!”

Elaine, Danielle's doula, frequently witnesses how push presents provide tangible recognition: “Childbirth is marathon-level physical exertion. Society doesn’t always value that. Having a gift marks that transition into motherhood.”

Ultimately push presents reveal complexity around gifting and gender norms. The experience can vary greatly for each family as expectations collide with realities. Open conversations help partners thoughtfully consider whether to embrace or opt out of this tradition. The mothers I speak with agree communication is key in figuring out what signifies appreciation for one another along the parenting journey.

Final Thoughts

Above all, the best push present is the one that feels just right for the person getting it. Some like fancy gifts – maybe designer stuff or custom-made art. Others find joy in simple things that match their interests. Choosing a push present is like picking a special way to say, "I appreciate you, and this is just for you."

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