Are “Push Presents” Pregnancy’s Marmite?

The wife has recently hinted about something called a “push present”. Like myself, I’m assuming that most British folk reading this post won’t have really heard about the concept before, so let me explain.

A push present is a gift given by the dad to the mum to mark the occasion of her giving birth to their child. Where once a little bundle of joy was all of the present that the doting parents needed, it is becoming more common, particularly in the United States where the concept was devised, that something expensive and sparkly should also be presented upon the arrival of the little one.

It is of little surprise that the country that brought us proms, child beauty pageants and baby showers have thought up another way for the public to spend their hard earned cash in a society becoming increasingly more materialistic. British society has all too easily followed suit with youth of today expecting the “Cribs” and “My Super Sweet 16” lifestyle that is showcased on MTV. This suggests that a push present might not be too far away from being widely expected rather than pleasantly received in the UK.

The nature of the present is open to debate and interpretation. For some, this could be a token gift to say “thanks, well done and I love you”, like some flowers or a bottle of her favourite wine now that she can drink again. For others, this takes the form of something much more expensive, for example, a designer handbag or a diamond ring, to acknowledge the nine months of hell that the wife has gone through.

It probably also depends on your viewpoint. A push present could be viewed as “I’ve gone through considerable hardship to provide you with a baby, now I expect something shiny and expensive in return” or “I appreciate everything you’ve done growing our baby inside you, so I’m going to buy you a present as a surprise and to tell you how much I love you”. Like most things, the context surrounding the idea is key.

The thought of a push present makes sense to me. The missus has gone through a lot of pain and discomfort to successfully bring a child into this world. Yes, the best present you can wish for is a healthy baby, but is it so wrong to give a gift to show your appreciation? I’m not talking a new car or a holiday, but a nice, reasonably priced ring doesn’t offend me too much. After all, she may need a new ring if there are any tears during birth…(sorry!)

The thing I’m more worried about is what to buy. I struggle to come up with gift ideas for Birthdays, Christmases, Valentines’ Days and our Anniversaries already, so the last thing I need is the pressure of getting another great present for the mother of my child. With the baby due in August, I’ve already had to come up with an idea for our Anniversary in June and Hay’s birthday in July. Between you and me, I’m all out of ideas! Add to this the fact that the baby will probably be too lazy to go shopping herself next year, so I’ll have to think about, find and purchase a Mothers’ Day present for her to get Hayley. Babies, eh?!

One thing I am certain about though is that if I want to get Hayley something, I don’t need society telling me what to buy and when to buy it. That is one of the main reasons why I hate the likes of Valentines’ Day. It’s the same with things like the purchase of an engagement ring. It HAS to be a diamond. It HAS to be big. It HAS to be sparkly. Why? Because everyone tells you that it is the way and that we should look to outdo friends and family.

It is open to debate as to whether the push present is a gimmick from the jewellery industry, an idea created by scheming, gold digger mummies , or a bi-product of men becoming more thoughtful and caring now a days (I know, I laughed at the last point too). Either way, the idea of presenting a treasure chest of riches to your partner for popping out a baby appears to be highly divisive.

I put the question to Twitter to see what people’s experiences and expectations were when it came to push presents and was surprised with the response I received.

Some said that their baby was their gift:  

Others disliked the concept and would not expect one:

Others welcomed the sentiment, with some receiving a present:

Whereas some people thought there were better ways of spending money and helping your partner:

What is your opinion on push presents?  Would you get one for your better half, and if so, what did you buy? Would you expect one if you were going to give birth? Let me know below.

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  • Tom @Ideas4Dads

    Sounds like another gimmick to me – I agree the gift of a bambini through the donation of your sperm should morethan suffice 😉

    • In that case I might start giving sperm as a present to everyone for all birthdays, every Christmas etc…

  • New Mum Online

    I’d have loved the gift I tweeted you. Flowers were not really what I was looking for (but got). Never heard it called a push present but I was hankering for something to mark the occasion especially with it being our first. Didn’t realise you were making a post out of the tweets. Mine must be on the editing floor ha ha xx

    • Howdy! I wasn’t intending to write a post, it was a genuine question that caused so much debate that it made sense to write about it 🙂 I had so many tweets that I couldn’t fit them all into an article, so unfortunately I had to chop some! Also called a baby mama gift or baby bauble if you prefer those terms 🙂

      • New Mum Online

        it’s funny I hadn’t heard of it at all at all, but I could just feel I needed “something” so I am not surprised the concept exists. I know as some tweeters said, the baby should be gift enough, but it’s more a case of looking for something from your other half. No words will do justice to the emotion I am trying to describe x

        • Makes sense and I agree. A baby is a gift, but not a gift gift! Like I said in the post, I totally get the concept and would like to get something for the missus – something that doesn’t have to break the bank, but is nice, sentimental and thoughtful. Hopefully you’re armed with more info now on push presents so you can share with the other half if you’re planning on having any more kids 🙂

  • Tom @Ideas4Dads

    That could get expensive in terms of child maintenance 😉

  • Amy Ransom

    Ooh I’m so glad I stumbled upon your post. I’ve just had baby no. 3. The only push present in our house so far has literally been a push bike. That my husband’s bought for himself. I’m not sure that’s what you’re talking about?! I did, however, get a ring for each of my other two girls. It wasn’t expected or asked for and my husband felt no pressure to give me one. We chose both together, they were not particularly extravagant but I love them because each one reminds me of my girls. I have also promised each of the rings to the girls when they are older and in that respect they already feel like heirlooms. I agree that helping in those early weeks outweighs any gifts. As does telling her how amazing she’s been. But let’s face it, a bunch of flowers never goes amiss. And personally I’m never going to say no to a little bit of bling ;0). Great to get a man’s perspective. #PoCoLo

    • Hi Amy, thanks for the comment. Haha a push bike is probably as close as you can literally get to a push present – he could have got you a pushchair, push pop (remember them!?) or a door as well 🙂 Fantastic idea with the rings and heirlooms. It sounds exactly like what I want – something that represents the child and can be added to if/when others come along in the future. I might have to pinch your idea. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  • PixelatedDad

    My wife greatly hinted at wanting something for pushing a life form out of her and it didn’t make sense to me at all, because to me, motherhood was all ready a gift, after being in the room with her for 12 hours of labor, I changed my mind. I got her a new camera so we could take quality pictures of our daughter and for mothers day I framed our monthly pictures for her.

    • Hey – thanks for the comment. I like the idea of a camera – something that is practical but can also be used with the little sprog, particularly when you can use it for future gifts – I like your thinking! I’ve been weighing up a video camera for a similar reason…

  • stoppingattwo

    I blogged about this a few months back, so was really interested to read your take on it. I really really really dislike the idea of a push present. A healthy, happy baby should be all the gift that is needed. And if the mummy gets a push present – what about the dad? My husband was my rock. OK he didn’t go through the things that I did physically during pregnancy and birth, but he offered me so much help and support (and obviously still does). Also, what message does the push present send out to the parents who adopt who go through a long and complicated process to be able to have a child?
    If you are going to do something, do something that will mark the birth of your baby as a family. Maybe a professional photo shoot of your new family?
    #binkylinky
    http://www.stoppingattwo.co.uk

    • All good points. If “push presents” become more common, then maybe dads should get “support surprises”! I think giving a thoughtful, sweet gesture to your loved one is a nice idea, but it shouldn’t be expected or cost a lot of money. Agree that celebrating and doing something as a family is a nice alternative way of looking at it 🙂

      • stoppingattwo

        You get a hard time as a Dad-to-be as nothing you ever say or do is right, so if there is going to be a “push present” there should definitely be a “support surprise”. The look on my other half’s face when my first was born was the best thing he could have given me (other than his “contribution” to the baby.
        Lots of luck over the coming weeks!!

  • Twinmumanddad

    Seems like a strange idea to me! Thanks for linking up to the #binkylinky

  • lianne

    Fab post! Im about to give birth to my 2nd, but my partners 1st baby… I don’t expect a push present, but it’d be super cute if he did buy a little something. I wouldn’t refer to it as a ‘Push Present’ tho, I don’t expect a gift or praise for giving birth!! But a little gift, even some flowers, as a ‘thank you for growing my little human’ would just be cute. An ‘aww thats lovely!!’ moment. But as I say, I don’t expect anything. 🙂 A healthy baby and a nice, simple birth is all I’m thinking about right now!!! 🙂

    Lianne | TheBrunetteSays…

    • Thanks Lianne 🙂 I think you’re spot on – the idea of giving a present is a nice sweet idea if your partner come up with it himself, but the expectation created by others that they have to buy an expensive item for you is wrong. The name “push present” probably needs a bit of work though! Pregnancy present? Birth bonus? Birth bounty? Labour love? Hahahaha

  • isabeeee

    O my, why I am just hearing about this. Anyway after the next baby I sure will demand mine…A woman can never complain about present. lol. #blinkylinky http://mylittlecuteface.wordpress.com

    • Haha – well that is very true – a present is a present – remember to put my commission in the post if / when you get one 🙂

  • Princess Cloo

    its a sweet thing if the man wants to buy something special to remember the day- my sister got a pandora bracelet to add charms to during her sons life, but dont just buy one for the sake of it #binkylinky

    • Thanks for the comment – I really like the idea of something that can be added to. Like having a different charm or ring to represent each kid / milestone. Hay already has a pandora bracelet which got too full and heavy for her to wear – slight design flaw eh?! 🙂

  • I really don’t think I’m fussed on the idea. Your partner should buy you something because they want to, not because you have given birth, the gift is that you are no longer humongously fat and have a sweet ickle baby to cwtch!
    Haha, maybe I’m just being bitter because I’ve had five kids and not one push present (even the name is a bit squicky), also I had twins first so I would have been entitled to two gifts right? #FamilyFriday

    • Hi Katie – you’d imagine twins mean two presents. Would a set of earings count as two, or is that still one?! Haha, I’ve not heard anyone say the gift is that they are no longer fat – I think I’ll use that with the missus. I was watching a pregnancy programme the other day where the husband bought her a boot camp fitness thing!

  • London Mum

    I didn’t get a push present and to be honest everything was a bit all over the place I didn’t really mind. However, if my other half had told me to expect something amazing as a push present (although I hate the term push present) I think I’d have gone into labour a bit less scared if that makes sense. Everyone likes a good surprise and appreciation. Being pregnant and giving birth is certainly a bigger achievement than all the other days we buy presents on, and something you on the day you give birth will be a forever reminder of that very special moment.
    My Mum was given presents from my dad when she had both my sister and I. And the items she still has and treasures. I think that’s something quite special.

    • You make a great point about pregnancy being one of the biggest achievements, so why would you not get a gift – I’d not thought of it like that. Perhaps the fact that we give presents for everything now a days trivialises the big achievements? That’s really nice about your mum and dad – I’d really like us to have something like that to mark the occasion where we can look back in 30 years and remember. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  • newcastle family life

    Thanks for including my comment, i agree push presents are like marmite some people love them and some people dont i dont like idea of man feeling like he has to buy a present but if he wants to then thats his choice he shouldnt be made to feel he has too as yes the woman goes through pain but thats just the way mother nature made things.Just looking after your partner and letting her rest and doing fair share with the baby will be most womens idea of a perfect present after birth. Good luck on the new arrival hope it all goes well.

    • Thanks for the comment and well wishes! I’m surprised about how the topic of push presents has created so many mixed opinions – some love them, some detest them. I think it’s the same with everything – if you are forced to do something, it is never as thoughtful or nice as doing something off your own back. 🙂

  • I hadn’t heard of ‘push presents’ before reading this and am a bit cynical about them. They seem like an attempt by a certain type of retailer to put pressure on men to buy their partners expensive presents at a time when they will doubtlessly have many other additional expenses to deal with. I also think that the birth of a child should be about celebrating together as a family. I did get my wife a few little gifts every now and again, many of which were really just little treats (e.g. something extra nice for dinner) and several were from a local pound shop (…my Scottish approach to managing money perhaps!). I did try to make an effort to bring in my wife some nice things to hospital after the birth as she was kept in for a few days, but again these were either practical things on nice little things.

    • I thought that about the retailers – perhaps the jewellery industry creating a new type of present to sell more bling. When researching for the article however, a lot of sources, including from the jewellery industry, said that it didn’t come from them – I’m sure they’re not complaining now thought! Haha, I used to get quite a bit from the pound shop for Valentines day etc until the missus told me off! As you allude too, I think anything thoughtful which isn’t expected is a nice thing to do. Cheers for the comment.

  • I’d never heard of this before reading your post… I find the idea a bit… unnecessary. A way of putting pressure on a new father when he’s already got enough to be going on with. That said, when my daughter was born I didn’t get a card, flowers or anything so perhaps I would have liked something! I suppose it’s down to personal preference.
    Thanks for linking up with #WeekendBlogHop!

    • Yeah personal preference seems to be the key thing. Some people like the idea, others seem to hate it. Thanks for hosting the blog hop 🙂

  • Laura M George

    I’ve never heard of this before! Obviously I’ve known new mums be bought chocolate or flowers whilst in hospital as with anyone in hospital but never something more pricey. I can see why it’s done but I think a new father can show his appreciation and love in different way- through helping out etc. (as I’m sure you will). For example, my friend had her daughter two weeks ago and yesterday her hubby let her have an afternoon nap and he looked after the baby!

    Also.. isn’t some of this covered by mothers day?

    Thanks for this post! Laura x #WeekendBlogHop

    • Hi Laura – thanks for the comment. It’s strange where the concept has come from – there is obviously a massive difference between a box of roses and a diamond ring! Agree on what you say about a new father finding other ways rather than just splashing the cash. I’ve taken it for granted that I’ll be doing everything I can to support Hay, but I guess it may not come as easy for some other blokes (who aren’t as metrosexual as me!) 🙂

  • Train Driver’s Wife

    I can’t get on board with the whole push present idea. As many have said, your gift is your child. In my opinion it is unnecessary

    • Thanks for the comment – but if your other half gave you a necklace out of the blue, would you say no…? 🙂

  • Victoria Welton

    What an absolutely ridiculous concept. I don’t think the men should be ‘made’ to do anything by pressure. If they want to give their wife a gift then it is entirely up to them. I really don’t think a push present should come into it. I find it quite insulting actually!! As if there isn’t enough pressure on presents already! Thank you for linking to PoCoLo – great discussion post 🙂

    • Haha exactly – it’s already difficult enough getting a good present for all of the other special occasions without adding another one to the calendar. I think you hit the nail on the head – if someone is made to do something it is bad, but if they do it by choice it is good. Thanks for the comment.

  • Catriona Stephen

    Interesting post. I had never heard of this. I don’t think it’s something that should be expected of new Dad’s but if they want to give they’re other half a gift then why not. #binkylinky

    • Agree with your comment – if they want to, then do it, if not, then don’t. Take away the expectation and the concept isn’t as bad 🙂

  • I have heard that the eternity ring is often given as a present on the birth of the child. My first wife actually had our jeweler design her wedding ring so that it fit snug to the engagement ring on one side and a future eternity ring could be made to fit snug on the birth of our first. We never had kids amd she never got that ring.

    My second wife didn’t even care for having a diamond as her engagement ring. It has a red stone. And she didn’t expect an eternity ring or push present.

    • Hi Darrell – yeah that’s what I’ve been told before about an eternity ring being given on the birth of the first born. Makes me feel bad for any subsequent kids though as does that mean nothing is bought to represent them? I’ve heard of an engagement ring that fits snuggly with the wedding ring but not an eternity ring on the other side – sounds like your first wife knew what she wanted 🙂

  • Rachel Cooper

    I think if it something the dad has wanted to do, then it is lovely. If he does it because it is expected, whether by society or by the mum, then no no no. It makes birth all comercialised. The best present I had was my partner by my side and healthy babies. That was more than enough. #binkylinky

    • Totally agree!

    • Great summary – it shouldn’t be expected, but should be welcomed if the bloke wants to do it 🙂

  • Push presents? Pah! I’d happily buy one if I got an Impregnation Present in return lol. Thanks for linking up again #FamilyFriday

    • That’s hilarious!! Still LOL
      It’s a totally reasonable statement 🙂

    • The present was probably having the chance to impregnate! 🙂

  • Fantastic post!

    The inevitable thing of course is that the UK is going to take this on… And then other parts of Europe too, because apparently we love every party/ present concept the US comes up with! I was laughing my head off the first time I read about gender reveal parties in the US… Laughing my head off!! I remember it well – the image of a white iced cake ordered from the bakery… Waiting to be sliced, when everyone would see if it was pink or blue in the middle!! …But don’t get me started on that one 😉

    What now? There are tones of gender reveal parties in UK!

    We’re so materialistic, so spoon fed by advertisers we just can’t resist it!

    On the other hand – surprising myself here 🙂 – there’s the little thing of ‘love languages’ (you can check out a tiny little post here if you’re interested: http://misplacedbrit.com/parenting/love-languages-not-only-presents/
    …If your partner happens to have ‘gifts’ as their love language I can see that a gift on the occasion of the birth of a child would be a very meaningful special thing… But in that case, it would have nothing to do with the monitory value per se.

    Essay over!! 😉
    Thanks for linking with #brilliantblogposts

    • Thanks for the comment – yeah, it seems inevitable with our admiration of everything US related. Don’t get me started on gender reveal parties or baby showers etc 🙂

  • You already know my opinion as you included my tweet lol – cheers! 🙂 #FamilyFriday

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  • I didn’t get a ‘push present’. We were saving up for our baby. Besides, she was the gift really. No need for sparkly bling.