Admission up front: I haven't read the article, so I may be missing a nuance.
In some cultures, a gift is traditional.With the weight of cultural expectation behind it, it would be the worst kind of disrepect and lack of love for his wife and what she's jut experienced not to give her something, akin to a groom refusing to toast his bride at the reception.
But unless you are part of such a culture, it should be a gift, and gifts are voluntary. Did I ever get a gift for any of my three children? No, nor did it occur to me to even ask for one. The baby truly was the only gift I even considered.
Having said that, however ... With the effort we go through to produce a child - all that gestating, morning sickness, labour, and then (let's be honest here) given that we do the bulk of the child-rearing, a gift is probably the least he could do.
It didn't occur to me to ask, I was perfectly happy without one -- but did I deserve a gift? Damned straight I did.