Push Presents According to Grandma

pregnant-present-baby-showerI was listening to the radio in the car and heard the DJ mention that his wife was pregnant and wanted tickets to a specific concert as a push present.  Wow!  Men knowing what a push present was —without a mother or mother-in-law telling them, for the hard work of delivery, the mother deserved a present for all that pushing!  Discussing push presents on a radio station! When did push presents go mainstream?

Okay, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Christian tells me to go to Wikipedia first.  Here is what Wikipedia says about push presents.

push present

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

push present (also known as a “push gift,” “baby mama gift” or “baby bauble”) is a present a partner gives to the mother to mark the occasion of her giving birth to their child. In practice the present may be given before or after the birth, or even in the delivery room. The giving of push presents has supposedly grown in the United States in recent years. A “push gift” is any type of present loved ones give to a woman who has recently given birth to a child  The name “push gift” although indicative of a vaginal delivery does not exclude those women who have given birth through a C-section.


The tradition of gift-giving to commemorate a birth has long roots in England and India. The term “push present” first appeared in a publication in 1992. 

There is no conclusive evidence that the present was invented by the jewelry industry to sell more goods, and until recently it was passed on largely by word of mouth or peer pressure among both mothers and fathers.  According to Linda Murray, the executive editor of BabyCenter.com, “It’s more and more an expectation of moms these days that they deserve something for bearing the burden for nine months, getting sick, ruining their body. The guilt really gets piled on.” Other sources trace the development of the present to the increased assertiveness of women, allowing them to ask for a present more directly, or the increased involvement of the men in pregnancy, making them more informed of the pain and difficulties of pregnancy and labor.


A 2007 survey of over 30,000 respondents by BabyCenter.com found that 38% of new mothers received a push present, and 55% of pregnant mothers wanted one, though fewer thought it was actually expected. About 40% of both groups said the baby itself was already a present and did not wish an additional reward.

The popularity of push presents has been attributed in part to media coverage of celebrities receiving them. Examples include a 10 carat diamond ring given to celebrity stylist Rachel Zoeby her husband Rodger after the 2011 birth of their son, a Bentley given to reality TV star Peggy Tanous of The Real Housewives of Orange County by her husband Micah after the 2007 birth of their daughter, and a diamond and sapphire necklace given to singer Mariah Carey by her husband Nick after the 2011 birth of their twins.

The trend has generated a backlash, as some couples dislike the implicit materialism of push presents, and would prefer increased help in chores or baby care, or save the money for the child’s education.

According to etiquette expert Pamela Holland, there are no set guidelines for push presents. “The standard is that there is no standard,” she said. “It does make sense to have etiquette around wedding or baby shower gifts because you’re inviting other people into it. But this is far too intimate to have a rule.” In general it is the woman who lets her man know about push presents, not the other way around, although there can be peer pressure from friends to buy one on either the man or the woman.

So here’s grandma’s view and recommendation regarding push presents.   Push presents should be given to the mother-to-be of a child born or adopted at the birth or after the birth of a child.  The person who PRIMARILY gives the push present is the significant other in the relationship.  If the significant other needs financial assistance to make the push present that the Mother wants happen, that is what grandmas are for.

To the mother-to-be who wants increased help with chores or baby care as a push present, stop.  You are going to get that anyway.  For my first wedding anniversary, I wanted a microwave oven.  Okay, I admit microwaves were brand new when I was a new bride.  That is the closest you will ever get to trying to figure out my age.  I got the microwave.  It took me just a few years to realize I would have gotten the microwave anyway and I should have asked for jewelry.  Jewelry is the appropriate present to ask for –birthdays, Christmas, anniversary, make up gift.  I actually saw an article on www.parenting.com recommending a big screen television as one of the top ten push presents.  Are you kidding?  How much pushing did the father-to-be do?

Yes, for all the mothers-to-be, childbirth is a life changing event, a life passage event.  Such a big deal  deserves something that is a big deal.  Jewelry is it.  Jewelry is all there is as a push present.  Tickets to a concert are fleeting and transitory.  Jewelry is forever.  Oops, I meant diamonds.  Diamonds as push presents.  Now, that is it.  Diamonds can be purchased for a few hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars.

How can grandma help here?  When my first grandchild was born to my daughter, I wanted to “reward” her for making me the happiest woman alive.  I wanted to give her a push present from Grandma.  Not appropriate per se.  So not in the definition.  However, my daughter wanted diamond earrings.  My son-in-law could only afford one small diamond earring in his budget, especially with the new baby.   Yes!  My daughter got two diamond earrings.  We said thank you too.  I always smile when I look at her ears because it reminds me of one of the happiest days in my life.  We have continued the tradition when we could and we needed to.  Our second daughter got a small diamond tennis bracelet for a push present that she wanted and we helped her have what she wanted from her husband.

If you google “push present” on the internet, you will find pages and pages of gift ideas.  But, remember the idea  of a push present may have to come from Grandma.  I explained push presents to my son-in-laws when they had no clue.  Now they have a big clue.  Each pregnancy means saving up for a push present worthy of the mother of a precious grandchild.  We grandparents help with everything.    Push presents are forever presents.

Before my Mother died, she gave me the push present that my Father had given her when I was born.  It was a very large light blue acquamarine stone in an elaborate gold ring.  She had worn it every day since my birth.  I cannot imagine how my father afforded to give her something like this when they literally had me and $25 when they came to the United States.  My Mother said my Father secretly had a second job to earn the money for it.  Creating a history was what he was doing, she told me, because all of our family history was lost.

A push present is more than just a gift from one parent to another parent at the birth of a child.  It is a meaningful tradition that becomes a family ritual and family life passage event that creates history for a family.  Yes, Dad, I wear my Mother’s push present ring with



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