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Millennial Moms Give Indian Maternity Wear Segment A New High

With growing income patterns and households, the market of maternity wear looks quite lucrative holding enormous potential of providing more and better options of apparels and essentials for new mothers to make their motherhood most memorable

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New Gen-Y working mothers these days are mostly worried about trying to look good while managing their breastfeeding schedule, a common trend observed nowadays. The major factor behind this concern is the need for a comfortable innerwear which suits the changing demands of the new post-partum body. Thanks to special bras like nursing, sleep bras etc., mothers can now stay confident and add comfort to their style quotient and breastfeeding schedule. If not them, then the search would never end, resulting into aimless shopping and pooling loads of money. 

A large chunk of mothers still are unaware of the benefits of correct nursing wear especially in the post-natal period. Post pregnancy, a mother’s body undergoes a host of changes from her ability to breastfeed, emotional changes, weight gain and several other factors, hinting at the need of special care and cautious measures which a newbie mother must undertake. For them the biggest challenge is trying to fit into their pre-pregnancy wardrobe, which is difficult due to weight gain after delivery. Therefore, from buying clothes to buying bras, one needs to look at a range of options for getting the right pick. It is not about any specific age but its only about comfort. It is imperative for a woman’s health to keep a check on the bra size she wears, considering the demands of the new body. This is a signal hinting on the urgency for a maternity shopping and welcoming some new maternity wear in the closet to be a confident breastfeeding mother.

Among the core apparel categories, innerwear appears to be a potential growth category across all segments.Maternity wear has made steady inroads in India over the last few years, becoming more sophisticated for lingerie, segmenting into prenatal and post-natal apparel and accessories.Factors like a rise in number of working women, nuclear families, higher discretionary spending and high disposable incomes have led to the growth of maternity wear segment in India.

Indian women have also started accepting maternity wear not as a luxury, but as a basic need. They believe in the idea of pampering oneself during the most beautiful period of theirsi.e. motherhood. As a result, the Indian innerwear market is worth `19,950 crore (2014) and is estimated to grow at 13 percent to reach `68,270 crore by 2024.

With the trend of maternity fashion catching on fast in India, there are a plethora of variety in nursing wear i.e. bras to tank tops, sleep bras to shapewear, nursing pads, comfortable underwear etc. available, considering the changes a woman’s body undergoes post pregnancy. Growing awareness, especially from the market in the West, and exposure from peers, the internet, and other media, plus the convenience of online shopping are all contributing factors in making women more conscious about the right intimate clothing. 

A lot of manufacturing companies in the Indian market have also understood the need and have a special collection of maternity wear in their product portfolio for the newbie mothers.Several brands are also launching maternity wear to cater to the growing needs of well-fitting clothes for expecting mothers.They put in a lot of innovation and research driven insights to come up with a collection like such. With increasing knowledge about ill effects of wrong size bra, fabric constructions and impact on breast feeding patterns, this research aims to remove these problems occurring in the nursing bra through new fabric development and enhancement in construction technology and appeal of garment. The intent is most importantly to bring the ‘comfort factor’ which fits the changing needs of the mother’s body and skin like feel of the fabrics. 

Prenatal wear includes clothing, gowns, support bras and briefs. Post-natal wear includes nursing bras, sleep bras, nursing aprons, nursing tops, nursing pads, bra tank tops, vests, maternity briefs, gowns and nighties, which have zippers and double panels on both sides to nurse. Other nursing accessories include breast pumps, gel pads, breast pumps, nursing bibs, shapewear,lotions, nipple protectors and feeding pillows.

This sudden surge in the revenue graph shows that the maternity care products industry in India is eventually transforming from a small-time interest market into a growing commercial industry since 2007. The market which was earlier unorganized has now transformed into an organized segmentlargely concentrated amongst the giant retail stores and leading manufacturing brands who are willing to expand their operations and capture the untapped market.

Therefore, with growing income patterns and households, the market of maternity wear looks quite lucrative holding enormous potential of providing more and better options of apparels and essentials for new mothers to make their motherhood most memorable.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
maternity pregnancy Maternity-Benefits Bill

Emilie Moulard

The author is the Managing Director of Medela India.

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