The Baby Shower History from Origin to Modern Day
Here’s a little glimpse of the baby shower history. The phrase “Baby shower” is relatively new, but there is nothing at all new about the idea. Did you know that baby showers originated in ancient times? The celebratory events that we do to welcome a new baby began back in ancient Rome and Greece when the pregnant woman was isolated before and just after the birth. She was then welcomed back into society by a party and gifts once she had been purified after the birth of the baby.
In ancient Egypt too, those celebrations took place after the child was born when the pregnancy was celebrated, the mother and child were purified and the baby was welcomed.
Fast forward a few years to about the Middle Ages when special trays were used to carry the foods to the mother in order to ensure her good fortune during childbirth and the weeks after it. The Victorian Era ushered in the actual baby shower as we know it, but not in the way that we use it today.
During the Victorian Era, the word pregnancy wasn’t used. In fact, the word pregnancy was quite strictly taboo, but once the mother gave birth and everyone was hale and hearty, a special tea would be held for her complete with lovely china and silver, and gifts presented to the baby. These were known as showers and baby gifts were given. If this was a first birth the woman was literally showered with gifts. If it was a second baby, the woman was given what was known as a “sprinkling” because it was assumed that she would need fewer items, having already saved those from the first child.
Modern day women, from the early 1900s onward really brought about the baby shower in its present day form. Because medicine had come a long way and women were surviving childbirth quite frequently, and the infants too were surviving, it was safer to give a baby shower prior to the birth and to offer gifts to the upcoming baby. The gift giving was a happy event where games were played and gifts were given and well wishers could offer their best to the mother and child without the concerns that had been present in previous times.
Today the baby shower is an all out party for the mother and child. It’s typically up to the mother and/or the father when they would like the event held. Before or after the birth is acceptable and nearly any kind of party that you can imagine is an acceptable form of celebrating this most joyous event.
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