France is the most fertile of the European Union countries. This is something the country is proud of, and encourages through free daycare from the baby’s age of 6 months onward (among other perqs). But one pro-baby tradition that has yet to take hold in the Hexagon is the baby shower. American women in particular are surprised to find that such pre-birth celebrations are rare in France, and don’t even have a name in the French language.
The website French Mamma (a wonderful English-language resource for expecting and new parents) explains why:
It is not that women in France do not think having a baby shower would be fun, it is just they have their own traditions and rituals that conflict with the timing of the baby shower.
Instead of showering the future mamma with gifts before the baby is born, they are usually given gifts at the time of birth.
The site predicts that eventually the French will eventually warm to the baby shower. Who knows, maybe they’ll even invent a real French term for it.