Should Jewish parents-to-be throw a baby shower? Why or why not? What is the origin of the baby shower (amongst Jews specifically) if any? For clarification, I am referring to the party before the child's arrival.
To the best of my knowledge there is no known source that prohibits baby showers, however most Orthodox Jews generally do not have baby showers for fear of Ayin Hara - evil eye.
The Baby shower is a modern concept, based on consumerism.
However, Jewish custom has evolved, so that preparations for a baby are not made until 40 days after conception. This is when the soul traditionally enters the fetus. The main concern is the "evil eye", and for some good reason.
From our very early beginings, the Jewish people have had a hard time giving birth. All of our Matriarchs were barren, and from what I have heard, Jews tend to have a higher than 30% rate of miscarriage that is normally quoted as the norm.
As can be seen from the history of Baby Showers, it's also not a very Jewish value. It would be interesting to learn why the Baby Shower in European and American society moved from being the day after the birth, to sometime before the birth. I suspect it has to do with an increase in medical technology to deal with premature babies.