'Push Presents': Tacky or Tolerable?


I love receiving gifts -- spa gift certificates, jewelry, shoes, clothing. Birthdays, holidays, any kind of occasion, I'm all about the materialism, but if my husband gave me a present in return for our baby and called it a "push present," I would probably have pushed him.

Around the time I had my first child, this "push present" craze was just getting started. Friends who had babies came home from the hospital with sore vaginas, crying babies, and baubles of all sizes.

Some had rings with sparkling pink (or blue) stones, others had necklaces. Some had vacation packages. But all called them the same thing: their "push presents."


It's silly at best and offensive, sexist, and archaic at worst.

Do men get an ejaculation tool set? Or "Egg-penetration" cufflinks? If they did, we would say that's ridiculous and wrong and where's the equality? If men and women are supposed to equally participate in the whole childbearing thing, why do we get a parting gift?

It's partially the name that bugs me -- "Push Present" is pretty gross. But it's also what that name implies. The gift isn't a transition gift to mark the birth of a new baby, but rather a gift a woman gets to compensate for the havoc pregnancy and "pushing" wreaks on her body. So, does this mean a C-section doesn't get one?

The implication that a woman's uterus is a commodity that can be traded for a material item just bothers me.

If my husband had shown up with anything more than love, tears, and equal involvement in the moment, I would have felt like the expectation was somehow that he was the breadwinner and I was expected to provide him with the home-life. I like chivalry. By all means hold the doors and open jars for me when I need it. But I don't like cheesy declarations. Paul Anka's "Having My Baby" makes me want to vomit. It's OUR baby, bucko.

And unless we're both getting jewelry, it just doesn't seem that way.

The level of the gift is also appalling. Women expect Cartier watches and huge diamonds, it seems. In a certain section of the population, there is as much excitement about the "push present" as there is about the engagement ring that came before it. Those are the kinds of women I tend to avoid. Appreciating fine things is one thing. Making them your entire life and basing your self-worth around them is another.

Commemorating the birth of a child should be a shared gift -- matching tattoos, a joint vacation. It is not a gift for the woman alone.

Are you expecting a "push present"?

Image via MarcinMoga / Lolek/Flickr

the pregnant life, fathers, labor


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sstepph sstepph

Haha, I never heard of a "push present" .. i probably would have laughed if someone gave something like to me and called it a "push present!"

ZsMommy ZsMommy

Seriously? Your panties are all in a bunch because someone decided to give a tacky catch phrase name to gifts hubby's (or the other half of the baby making connection) give women. Sure-it's shared-but men don't deal with all the miserable side effcets of carrying a baby and labor isn't a walk in the park...Big deal-they give it a tacky name-least give these guys credit for acknowledging the women in their lives.

Sorry-Just think this vent is a bit sill IMO.

jeann... jeannesager

I completely agree -- it's a shared experience, and it should remain so. I didn't get a "push present,"  nor did I expect one. I DID buy my husband a new t-shirt to replace the one he got blood on when he cut the cord -- a sort of joke gift "from" our daughter. But that was the extent of the gifting.

The way I look at it, our kids ARE our presents.

nonmember avatar Lori

My husband gave me a special gift after each of our kids was born. I don't think there's anything wrong with this at all. Perhaps if I'd expected or hinted that I deserved a gift that might be off, but knocking my husband for a nice gesture doesn't seem appropriate. I didn't know people called them "push presents," that's a bit absurd, but no matter the name, you won't catch me turning down jewelry on any occassion.

ZsMommy ZsMommy

Oh-just wanted to add-no-I received no present-but hubby did-since our daughter was born on Father's Day...Now that beats any tacky gift he could possibly get (other than something made by our daughter) on Father's Day.

leahm... leahmbennett

I think that its sweet and thoughtful. The man doesn't have to go through the pain and suffering of pregnancy and child birth. I wouldnt expect a gift, but I think its a nice gesture. Something small to tell you thank you for all that you have done doesnt seem far fetched at all.

Kimberly Virga

Are you really upset about this?! Um, hello, you just had a baby! If your husband wants to buy you jewelery, let him! My husband and I have already discussed this. My birthday falls one month almost exactly before I give birth to our daughter in December, and he is going to buy me a turquoise ring (a LARGE ring!) because both our children were born in December! It's birthday/push present! Cmon, lighten up.

wildf... wildflowers25

Wow.  Really?  I was not expecting anything when our first was born.  This whole trend wasn't around then, if it was we hadn't heard of it.  Right before our son was born, my husband had picked out the ring itself, all he was waiting on was to be able to tell the jewelry store which color stone to order.  Our son was almost 2 months old before my husband could afford to go get it.  I was truly touched and still love it.  It has my birthstone and our son's.  There is no way I could ever feel like it was somehow a present for providing him with a child.  And really, there is no way in the world men truly share the experience.  That idea, when I hear it or read it, is what makes me want to vomit.  They don't go through the experience of pregnancy and childbirth and there is no way they ever really could.  There are tons of tacky things about pregnancy and delivery, most of which are lauded on here.  A small present with a baby's birthstone or something like that is not one of them.   

Alyss... Alyssa11307

really?  FWIW, I am the bread-winner, and did receive a beautiful bracelet from my husband.  So that puts one of your judgements to bed right there.  I thought it was really sweet and its a great reminder of the day - its a silver bracelet with my son's birthstones.  I don't know why its tacky, and don't at all understand how this gesture is at all "me-big-strong-provider-you-lowly-female-take-adornment".  It was a sweet gesture thanking me for carrying our healthy, beautiful, perfect son.

nonmember avatar Allboys

This came into popularity when I had my children. I'm sure men have been doing something of the sort before but it didn't have such a tacky name. My husband got me a nice bouquet of flowers in appreciation of giving him our children which we promptly forgot in the hospital room. The only one not left was the one that he had ordered because he was overseas at the time. This is another one of those who are we to judge moments. If you feel it is degrading to receive a diamond for all of your hard work because it involved your vagina and the birth of your baby then you husband should respect it. If another woman's husband feels that his show of gratitude for his wife's amazing contribution and sacrifice for their family is a "push present" GO FOR IT". No judgement necessary. Gifts aren't sexist, especially when given out of gratitude, love and appreciation.

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