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T he journey of becoming a parent is given the title of the hardest job in the world, with its high highs and low lows. The job begins before a child is even born with a lot of preparation and hard work as the little bundle of joy spends 9 months growing within. With all this work comes a beautiful reward as the mother can give a new being to the world. But with all this giving, what is the mother receiving in return? An up-and-coming gift idea for new mothers is a push present. A push present is a gift that is given to a new mother during or after childbirth (Wilson & AHN, 2020). Oftentimes, it is the partner of the new mother that is giving the gift. There isn’t an official history of push gifts, however as we progress in society, it is a new reason for gift-giving, and a form of intimacy that is shared to express appreciation. The gesture of a push present is to commemorate the process and efforts of a mother’s pregnancy. Although giving birth is the birth of a child, it is also seen as the birth of a mother. It is an occasion that should be celebrated and honoured. The adverse effects of pregnancy and childbirth lead new mothers to experience postpartum depression alongside other physical, mental, and emotional altercations.

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Qualifications of a push gift

The price tag on a baby is priceless, however, a push gift tends to be expensive to keep the same momentum. There are no rules or restrictions on what qualifies to be a perfect push gift. It truly depends on what the partner truly thinks their new mothers should receive. Most of the time, push gifts tend to be valuable. Over-time push gifts have shifted from being bouquets to bling.

The psychological effect of pregnancy and post-partum

CThe significance of pregnancy is life-changing to a woman. Many areas are impacted when experiencing pre- and post-pregnancy. The main area that is affected is the brain of the mother. It is stated that throughout pregnancy, there are psychological changes that can result in mental illness for the woman. During pregnancy, a woman is more susceptible to experiencing mild to severe negative emotions that result in persistent symptoms and mental disorders. Studies have shown that 20% of women suffer from mood or anxiety mental disorders during their pregnancy. After a woman gives birth, her risk of developing mental health issues. The most common mental illness that affects women is postpartum depression (PPD). Postpartum depression is a type of depression that is experienced after childbirth and causes extreme sadness and despair, as well as anxiety (Postpartum Depression: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment, 2022). These negative emotions and feelings can branch to a new mother feeling alone and unappreciated. However, the concept of the push gift is acknowledging all the hardship that a new mother has experienced in her pregnancy, as well as her postpartum. These difficult emotions greatly impact all parties that are involved with the new mother, even her newborn because it impacts how the mother can show up for her newborn.

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Partner Support

As we have just discussed, bringing the gift of life into this world can often be an overwhelming and challenging time for the parent that is carrying the child, but they are usually not the only ones experiencing these types of emotions. Although the partner or co-parent is not undergoing physical changes, they still need to make room in their hearts and brains for this new part of their life as they too deal with emotions of uncertainty. However, the experience for the partner is much different than the mother. The partner showing up and providing support to the new mother is a way that can positively influence the mother. This support can be translated into a push gift as well. Of course, a push gift may not wake up in the middle of the night to care for a crying baby, but it displays to the new mother that her efforts go unnoticed.

Relationship Anxiety

As we now know, childbirth can have an enormous impact on all the parental figures involved, but how can this new addition affect their relationship? Whether the relationship is romantic, platonic, or simply logistical it is nonetheless important to have a healthy connection with each other for the sake of everyone involved, including the newest member of the family. It is not uncommon for a new mother to experience a heightened amount of anxiety as mentioned before. Anxiety disorders do not only restrict to being anxious about a newborn baby, but also the shift that takes place in the relationship with their partner. A range of overwhelming emotions take over, and at times become difficult to verbalize, or make their partner understand. A common fear that a new mother experience is the effects of what a newborn can bring to her relationship with her partner. Studies have shown that it is common for new mothers and their partners to experience relationship dissatisfaction after pregnancy. Giving a push-gift eases the relationship anxiety because since the gift is being given at such an intimate and vulnerable time, it is perceived positively. With that in mind, the partner giving a push-gift can provide reassurance to a new anxious mother. Reassurance in the form of an honourable push gift is a great way to soothe anxiety during this stressful time.

Significance of child-birth hormones

The hormones that are released during and after childbirth play a crucial role in attachment and bonding between the mother and child. During childbirth, a mother has a surge of oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is a hormone that helps a mother bond with her child, it is also known as the “love hormone”. On that note, with the love hormone being present, it is a perfect opportunity for the partner to give a push gift because this would strengthen the bond between the partner and the new mother too.

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In conclusion, we can see that push presents, although not necessary, are becoming more and more popular and it is easy to understand the reasons for this. Push presents can improve the well-being of all individuals involved including the partner that carried the baby, those who support the pregnant woman, and even the child itself. The effects of push presents can be seen even further than these individual levels, as interpersonal relationships can also be enhanced and supported by a return gift. The concept of push-gifts to newly mothers is beneficial to all parties involved.

Naseea Harun
Psychology Blogger,
The Shared Secrets Lab,
GiftAFeeling Inc.

Read The Official Research Paper On - Push gift for newly mothers

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