Should Women Feel Guilty for Desiring a Push Gift?

January 6, 2015

Shortly following conception, a woman’s life drastically changes. A never ending compilation of do’s and don’ts emerge and are impossible to ignore. From news articles about the latest studies, to the sporadic unsolicited advice— everything from nutrition to hobbies is uprooted. This continues for nine months. Her body undergoes this miraculous metamorphosis that culminates with the beginning of a new life.

Women are biologically equipped for childbirth, but that doesn’t mean becoming a mother is a requirement. Nor, does it make the process fail-proof. Last year alone, 289,000 women died from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth.

If we can all agree that women who choose to become mothers exemplify extraordinary strength, and that giving birth is the most important milestone in a woman’s life, we can consider the role of a gift to commemorate the momentous journey to motherhood.
Birthing gifts are meant to honor a new mom. The act of gift-giving to commemorate birth is an ancient practice that dates back to early India. It’s not a “new” and “trendy” tradition or concept.

Some call it a baby bauble; others refer to it as a “push present”. While the term is debatable, it was coined in 1992, long before people viewed this gesture as a “trend.”

Thanks to celebrities, this act of commemoration has become ‘trendy’ and the long-standing tradition has quickly gained traction in the U.S.

Contrary to a largely held belief, a “push gift” is not a prize or reward for ‘pushing’ or giving birth. A “push present” isn’t intended to trump or compete with the gift of life. The gesture simply demonstrates that a loved one acknowledges and appreciates her journey. It expresses true love and warm wishes for the future.

She endured the pregnancy— refrained from activities she once loved, possibly lost her figure, she felt ill often and may even have some battles scars (stretch marks!) She tolerated the hormonal changes, discomfort, cravings, random people rubbing her belly and relentless “suggestions.”

So should a woman feel bad for desiring something tangible to commemorate the incredible journey and punctuate the moment? Should she feel guilty for longing for a gesture that signifies appreciation for her arduous journey?

Absolutely not.

But chances are– she does.

She’s most likely not going to ask anyone, for ‘anything,’ for herself. Since she’s focused on the new life she’s playing an active role in creating, the last thing she wants to do is make her selfless acts null and void by requesting a diamond pendant.

If we remove the misconceptions that are often infused with cynicism, we’ll see that what’s left is an innocent and pure gesture—- a sweet reminder that we appreciate her, and her journey.