Our friends had a baby a week ago and we were able to go to the hospital to visit! It is always interesting to observe the cultural differences and norms. This is how they do things to Belgium...
First, people here don't throw showers before the baby is born. Most people find out what they are having, but keep it a secret from the rest of the world. So, while they do have baby registries, they don't register for anything that might give the gender away!
Second, as soon as the baby is born they call up their graphic designer with the weight, height, time of birth, etc. The graphic designer inputs into the design the couple has already approved and it is sent off to the press and mailed immediately to an extensive list of family and friends who are waiting to hear the good news!
For those the parents are close to, they call or send text messages so that family and friends can come to the hospital to see the baby.
We were happy to receive a text message letting us know that a "little prince" was born and that mom was doing well. Fortunately, we were able to visit a couple of days later. (They stay in the hospital for five or six days here!)
Upon our arrival to the hospital we were greeted with a celebratory glass of champagne. We gave them their gift and spent the next couple of hours holding the little one and chatting with others who came to visit. Then, upon leaving we were given little gifts with the baby's name printed on ribbon with additional ribbon coordinating with the colors of the birth announcement.
It was truly a creative, welcoming, and thoughtful way to share in one of life's most important moments. It is special to witness first hand how other cultures celebrate a new birth!