pregnancy

Why parents are choosing to have their baby shower after the birth of their baby instead.

Ah, baby showers.

Nothing says “Please celebrate my the impending birth of my child with me” like a cake made of disposable nappies, and grown-ups drinking champagne from a baby bottle – right?

Which is why the traditional baby shower isn’t as common anymore. These days, you’re just as likely to attend drinks at a pub (with partners included) to celebrate an expectant mum, than you are to go to an all-girls afternoon tea that’s serving Virgin Mary mocktails.

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Or, in Amy Schumer’s case, a cake of a baby exiting a vagina.

And then there are those mums who simply choose not to have pre-birth baby showers at all, preferring instead to delay the event until after the baby is born. Yes, that’s now a thing.

A post-baby baby shower (or PBS) is literally a baby shower – with gifts and excitement – with one extra guest: the newborn baby themselves.

It’s different from a ‘Sip and See’, which is held some weeks after bubs arrives and is akin to a ‘viewing’, designed to avoid a constant stream of (usually unexpected) visitors – and is more for the guests than the baby.

No, the PBS is a planned celebration of the safe arrival – which is something some parents feel is much more important to celebrate than the pregnancy.

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In a Facebook group this week, a woman asked if others thought the concept of the PBS was strange, and the resounding response was an emphatic no, because it’s entirely the mother’s choice.

Ainsley, a member of the group, told Mamamia that she had specific reasons for wanting her baby shower afterwards.

“It was a great way for both myself and husband to celebrate the birth of our baby girl,” she said.

“It enabled us to welcome her with family and friends and start building her connections. We didn’t announce her gender prior to birth or have any visitors at the hospital [so we could] really promote our mum and dad connection to our daughter.”

Another mum in the group further explained her PBS choice:

“In middle eastern culture (as my family followed) it’s uncommon to celebrate anything before it happens because you never know what could change, so premature celebration is ‘bad luck’ in a way.

“Another [of our] traditions is to give money rather than gifts at the baby shower, so we appreciated that we could buy what we needed while baby was here, because there are so many things you don’t know you need until you have your baby.”

Most people did agree that the timing of a baby shower is a woman’s very personal choice; but if you needed more reasons to see the benefits of a PBS, here’s three compelling ones.

The mum-to-be simply doesn’t want to celebrate before the birth.

Some women may find the concept of a shower overwhelming and/or exhausting leading to the birth – both emotionally and physically.

The pregnancy could be high risk, or there could be other factors, such as needing to move house to make room for the baby.

Whatever the reason, if the timing’s not right before, it makes sense for the shower to be after.

It’s convenient for visitors.

Everyone knows it’s exciting to see a precious newborn baby in hospital, and whilst some parents welcome the attention, others do not. So, a PBS can be a way to have everyone meet the baby at one designated time, rather than having strings of visitors.

And because it’s a shower and the baby is still a newborn, people will be able to bring gifts more focussed on what they baby actually needs – which is often difficult for parents to anticipate beforehand. (And yes, that includes gendered gifts if people want, too.)

It’s something celebratory for the parents to look forward to.

Becoming a parent is a challenging time, and can be incredibly isolating – there’s a reason they call it the ‘baby bubble’.

Having a PBS can give the parents something festive to look forward to with family and friends, at a time when their lives have totally changed.

And, for the mum especially, that probably means she can finally again have a glass of something alcoholic, and eat an entire platter of soft cheeses, too.

We’re sold.

Nama Winston has had a decade-long legal career (paid), and a decade-long parenting career (unpaid). Now a Mamamia Contributor and freelance writer, Nama uses her past experience as a lawyer to discuss everything from politics, to parenting. You can follow her on Instagram: @namawinston and Facebook: @NamaWinston.

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