Pregnancy and post maternity period exists for a very short duration. India being a price conscious market, mothers are conscious about their purchasing and do not spend a lot of money. They try to buy the essentials only. Hence there is low demand for variety in the maternity lingerie market.
Technavio’s market research analyst predicts the maternity wear market to reach a market value of around USD 13 billion by the end of 2019.
Maternity Intimate Wear Market provides complete attention to major industry drivers, opportunities, challenges, and their impact on market growth during the forecast period. In view of the country’s rapid urbanisation, the Rs 12,000-crore children, baby and maternity (CBM) products industry is set to grow at 15-20 percent per annum over the next few years, industry experts said.
Segmentation by product and analysis of the maternity wear market
- Dresses and tunics
Types of Maternity / Nursing Bras
Nursing bras come in a variety of different styles, colours, fabrications and price points. The general rule is you get what you pay for.
The main purpose of a nursing bra is to support your growing breasts and body during a time when you are going through a tremendous amount of change.
Special features of nursing bras include: Drop-down cups for feeding, A-frame or side sling support, 6 hooks and eyes for expansion, strong supportive back band, padded straps, fully adjustable straps, cotton lining, supportive cup structure.
Between eight and ten weeks into your pregnancy, your breasts begin to change and you may start to outgrow your normal bras. So when you know your little ones on the way, it’s a great idea to invest in a special maternity bra.
Features of a Nursing Bras : During pregnancy and while breastfeeding, the average mum will go up two band and four cup sizes. Every mum is different of course, but this change doesn’t happen overnight, so there’s plenty of time to get used to your changing shape. But the size increase does highlight why comfortable maternity bras are so important.
They’re adjustable – with at least four hook positions, you can adjust your under band throughout the day
They offer more support – maternity bras have a fuller cup shape, ,, they’re made from fabrics which are breathable – normal bras are usually made from a mix of viscose, cotton and polyester. Maternity bras are primarily made from cotton, which allows your skin – which may be warmer than usual during pregnancy – to breathe easier. They also have brushed back elastics which feel soft against your skin.
Maternity Bra Timeline: How Your Body Will Change
1st Trimester – once you’ve chosen your maternity bra, we recommend it’s fitted on the first hook position with the cups not too tight, this will allow you to adjust as your breast size gradually increases.
2nd Trimester – between 12 and 28 weeks your rib cage will also expand to accommodate your beautiful bump. Your back and cup measurements will increase during this period, so it’s just a case of having another fit and adjusting your maternity bra accordingly
3rd Trimester – between 28 and 40 weeks it’s a good idea to have at least one more fit, especially if your current bra feels a bit tight.
From the 36+ week it’s the perfect time to be fitted for a feeding bra, which is essentially a maternity bra with a drop clips and retainer straps so that the bra strap stays in place even when feeding. The fitter will consider your current bust size and how much this is likely to increase, usually one cup size bigger for when your milk comes in. Made with breathable fabrics and enclosed inner cup seams for extra comfort. The feeding bra also has extra hook and eye fastenings to adjust to your changing shape post-birth.
A sleep bra which will provide gentle support during pregnancy and while you nurse. A sleep bra will also keep breast pads in place during the night whilst still making night nursing easy with crossover designs or nursing clips.
Maternity sports bras are designed to offer support and comfort whether you’re heading to the gym for a workout or dressing for a yoga session. Features include specialist fabrics, seam-free designs, padded straps and built-in support.
Swot Analysis of Maternity Wear Segment :
The maternity products market in India is a niche segment of the retail industry in the country. The maternity wear paved its way in 2007 prior to that plus size garments or large sizes were the norm. Maternity wear came into its own with the entry of several niche players and on line portals like Mothercare, Me n Moms, Nine Maternity, Momzjoy, First Cry, Baby Oye
The demand and sales of baby care products in India have escalated even during the weak economic conditions across the globe. The market for baby care products in India has increased from INR ~ million in 2008 to INR ~ million in 2013, registering a CAGR of 11.8% during the period. Rising income levels, fewer children per household, increasing awareness level amongst parents to provide superlative care for their children, increase in working women population and increased expenditure by parents on baby care products are some of the major growth propellers of this industry
Strengths : Expanding to Newer markets : The rising demand for maternity intimate wear from developing countries such as India and China is one of the key drivers for the global maternity intimate wear market.
Opportunities : Key Drivers :Factors such as high birth rates and the growing popularity of e-retailing have a positive impact on the growth of the maternity intimate wear marketspace in India.
Weakness : Pregnancy and post maternity period exists for a very short duration. India being a price conscious market, mothers are conscious about their purchasing and do not spend a lot of money. They try to buy the essentials only. Hence there is low demand for variety in the maternity lingerie market
Threats : Market Challenge : One of the major factors hindering the growth of this market is concerns regarding the best fit for online purchases. When it comes to intimate wear, most consumers prefer shopping from physical stores rather than purchasing the products online, as the former provides consumers with the option to try the products. The touch-and-feel factor also plays a major role in influencing purchase decisions. While hosiery, socks, and other maternity intimate wear usually do not require a trial before purchasing, other types of maternity intimate wear such as bras generally require a trial before purchasing. Since online vendors do not provide this option, sales through this channel are low.
Supam Maheshwari, founder and CEO FirstCry.com says, ” We have taken on the onus of building the category in India and this means that volumes take time to build up. Crossing threshold volumes and getting fine needle work done have been hurdles for us in having the range manufactured in India. However, the impressive desire of Indian vendors to learn, good infrastructural abilities and quality standards have acted like energy boosts for the production.”
“There has been no organized research conducted in this segment hence it would be difficult for us to know the exact market size. But, India is world’s second largest populated country after China and the population is growing at the rate of 1.7% as per the data of 2016. The parenting and baby care industry is growing at the pace of India’s population. The awareness for availability of maternity products for mothers is very low compared to international especially first world markets.” says, Mr. Naresh Khatar.
While Dipesh Kubadia of Sonari a large player in the intimate wear mass market echoed ” The factor that can maximize the sale of maternity innerwear is only by making women aware about it which will take some time probably by next one year we will see a turn around. The season of our collection that went by was not that excellent but relatively good.
We recorded a growth of 1-1.5%. While trying to serve women of our country we keep in mind the needs of Indian women (the fabric, the size and the colors) and that is what drives our brand growth overall” says, Dipesh Kubadia, Director, Brand Sonari.
Achieving growth through online retailing
The growth in online sales of maternity wear and maternity intimate wear is likely to fuel the growth of the market in the coming years. Premium brands are now making their products available on various online shopping portals. With the increase in smart phone and internet penetration, people have started spending more time online. Most consumers prefer to compare different types of products before making a purchase, many consumers have now started preferring online shopping. This factor, coupled with the convenience and price discounts is propelling the growth of e-retailing.
According to Naresh ” Majority of the expecting mothers in India would prefer to wear plus size clothes over maternity apparels and maternity innerwear. There was low awareness about the availability of specialized clothing during pregnancy. Initially, it was difficult to find manufacturers who would expand into this segment.
With globalization and exposure, we are happy that more moms now the importance to wear maternity clothing for the comfort and utility is very much needed. Though it has become popular in the metros, there is a lot of scope for growth in the untapped Tier II & Tier III markets.
The fact that their entire body undergoes a massive change across various phases of their pregnancy and they have to choose inner wear that suits the new demands of their body. Right from clothing to innerwear, everything needs enough breathing space. A lot of research and customer insights is needed in this category
“In India, the innerwear fashion only got attention in the year 2011. Earlier people did not have any demands for the kind of lingerie that they wore. So, when we launched the maternity innerwear collection, which was in 2012, it was difficult to capture the attention of the consumers as people were not aware of this. Especially, the maternity crowd. So, we tried to make them aware by running campaigns like a free trial of the product in the sectors of maternal health which brought relative attention to the product. So, unawareness was the challenge for us and making “would be mothers” aware about it was the best part.” says, Dipesh Kubadia, Director, Brand Sonari.
” The complexity of maternity innerwear was a challenge initially. Since it is a technical product, it requires more skills & better pattern-making. We did extensive research & sampling trials to reach to our unique styles which are most comfortable for a breastfeeding mum. The best part has been ease & accessibility of Indian manufacturing.” Neerja Lakhani.
““Kriti” is being constantly promoted through various channels which are directly are engaging the customers in the Maternity/Nursing life stage on a regular basis. Choosing the right marketing channel and customer touch point is the key here. “Kriti” is growing exponentially since its inception. A very important aspect of this growth, is that, the retailer has been able to provide complete solution to its customer at the maternity and nursing life stage.
Yes, we as retailer, make sure that we have wider and deeper assortments of these products available in our stores at all times along with various other products related to a mother’s life stage, which has always made our stores a destination.” says, Supam Maheshwari.
Products & Campaigns
Mom N Me- We had launched our new maternity collection by organizing a Fashion Show for pregnant woman and new moms in Pune last year. The collection had three themes – work wear, festive wear and tribal fusion to glam up the everyday as well as special occasions. It comprised of trendy kurtis, tunics, leggings in various colors and prints, as well as dresses and tops perfectly amalgamating Indian as well as contemporary flavour.
The collection can be utilized from pregnancy till breastfeeding phase. The bottom wear brings with them additional support that ensures your comfort. Each apparel is designed in breathable fabrics like georgette, rayon, cotton knit. Each MeeMee product has been designed keeping the needs of the mother and baby in mind after a lot of research. We work with various manufacturers in India as well as in Thailand who meets our quality specifications. Though the products are sourced by them, our quality control team is involved in all stages of the production ensuring all quality standards are being met.” says, Mr. Naresh Khatar.
First Cry possesses a variety of products in the lingerie category. They produce lingerie which can be used for maternity as well as nursing. They have a highly qualified design team from NID/NIFT who work on their designs from scratch.
The product range in “Kriti” is really wide and the same is made available to customers in line with global trends every season. The range is made in such a way that it offers the best comfort to moms without negotiating with any fashion trends. All our products are made of innovative fabrics which are skin friendly and durable. “Kriti” has customized specs for all its products including Lingerie. Products are created understanding of the changes in measurements of specific parts of the body and creating an exclusive size.
A pregnancy bra should be one which she can use even after she delivers and should have a nursing function that makes feeding a baby easier. There are even different bras available to use during the day and night. As a woman, you know your pick as soon as you try the product!
Supam Maheshwari, “Our products are designed by our in-house research, design and development team who blend latest trends perfectly with a mother’s needs. Using comfortable fabrics and innovative processes, our domestic and international vendors make production of these ideas possible for us.
Since its inception, Kriti has been promoted through branding and product related campaigns across stores, website and app where we have highlighted our unique products like the nursing bra, sleep bra and the tummy hug. We believe in directly targeting and engaging with our customers in the relevant life stage on a regular basis.
“Kriti” is being sold through Asia’s largest Baby/Kids online store www.firstcry.com and its 300+ physical stores spread across India”.
Mother Care Sonari – Here comes the welcome solution from Sonari – feeding bra which is the best supportive bra while feeding your baby. Non-padded and non-wired, has a one-hand release clasp and drop down cups, adjustable shoulder straps, hook-and-eye closures on the back for an adjustable fit. It contains a provision to open up the breast region in order to feed the kid with ease. Ideal for housewife as well as working women. Colors: available various colors such as white, black, skin, cup size: B, C, D crafted from cotton fabric
They believe in people first & foremost. Even if maternity is a smaller segment of the market, we cannot ignore their needs. Keeping that in mind, we wanted to be there for those women who are looking for nice bras for breastfeeding without letting go of comfort or style in any way. That’s the differentiating factor. Being organic & anti-microbial, a capsule collection of lounge/sleepwear is to be launched next month. All fabrics used are anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial & anti-odour. They are organic, eco-friendly & super soft to touch.
The bras consist padded, non-padded, underwired, wire-free etc. in myriad colors & unique prints all designed our team. The price range for bras is Rs. 349 to Rs. 1499. Sizes start from 30″ to 40″ in band sizes B-C cups.
Maternity Meets Fashion
There’s no question maternity fashion is making headlines in the International markets. More and more designers are coming on board and taking over this segment. But designers in India steer clear of designing maternity-wear – why do you think that is? We spoke the a few brands and this is what they had to say.
“While designing maternity wear, comfort and utility have to be kept in mind always. Trends have to be adapted and modified to make provisions for the growing bump. This restricts some designers.” says, Mr. Naresh Khatar
“Designing maternity wear is really a big challenge. Especially when the customer here is a mom. Generally during pregnancy there are lots of superstitious things followed by families. Elders believe you can’t wear black, you have to wear something which covers your belly like a dupatta, you cannot wear clothes which accentuates the belly.”
“We firmly believe and the same is demonstrated in the market that, there is neither enough offering in maternity clothing nor in maternity inner wear in India. Kriti is the only brand available at many touch points with a wide offering. Many designers steer clear of designing maternity-wear Because, it is NOT just about designing when it comes to Maternity Wear, it is more about technical & functional aspects of the product and how the product has to give that extra amount of comfort to a woman as she steers through this important stage of her life.” Supam Maheshwari.
To conclude Maternity wear is an emerging segment that is bound to grow with greater awareness created by several online and off line niche players which will not only expand the market but also attract several mainstream brands from intimate and outwear brands to launch specialised line in maternity wear in the years to come as the fashion element in this segment picks up.
Soon this will be a separate category in apparel, large enough to accommodate several niche and mainstream brands like shapewear or loungewear.
How to choose the Right Maternity Bra
Finding the best maternity bra for your changing shape is simple once you know a details, and our guide will help you to choose. We know how important it is for mums-to-be to feel comfortable.
Choosing the right maternity bra can be a little bit overwhelming with the huge range available. Our handy guide will give you the basics of each type.
When to get a maternity bra
A couple of months into your pregnancy, you’ll notice that your breasts become fuller and more tender. It’s one of the wonderful ways your body tells you that you’re definitely expecting, and a gentle hint that your normal bras soon won’t fit as well as they did.
Most mums-to-be notice this change at around 12 weeks, so it’s worth booking an appointment and getting fitted for a maternity bra after four or five weeks. That way you’ll be ahead of the game before your breasts become slightly swollen and your normal underwired bras start feeling a little uncomfortable.
Seamless- Super soft fabric with great memory that enables the garment to fit snugly around the changing body.
Contour- No wires in B- D cup and flexible wire for additional support when needed most in a DD-FF and E, H cup sizes.
Flexi Wire- Provides superior support and an uplifted shape & profile which can help avoid stretch and sag.
Leakage Proof Nursing Bra- This kind of bra not only makes breastfeeding easy but also absorbs milk spillage. The cups are non-padded and non- wired for the required comfort and support. It has breathable leak-proof material attached so that it can absorb excessive milk spillage. The cups have a drop or open flannel for breastfeeding. A soft elastic under band enhances support. The straps are elastic and have sliders for adjustment.
Non Wire- Every care is taken to deliver comfort and much-needed relief.
Spacer Bras- Provides a nice T-shirt bra shape without the bulkiness of foam.
Sports Bras- Provides support and limits bounce without compression.
Sleep Bras- Designed for comfort, light support and ease of access.
Online Companies in Exclusive Maternity Segment
A Firstcry-Mahindra venture, they are Asia’s Largest on line retailer for Baby and Maternity/Nursing products. They have over 2 Lakh+ Baby, Kids, Maternity/Nursing items from two Thousand+ top International and Indian Brands being sold over Online and 300+ physical stores in India.“Kriti” is an inhouse brand exclusively made to take care of the specific needs of Pregnant & Nursing Mom, launched in the year 2013.
Supam Maheshwari, founder and CEO FirstCry.com puts it “We have built FirstCry.com with the vision to solve parents’ shopping problems related to baby and kids. Since shoppers exhibit mixed behaviour by purchasing online and offline, we needed to offer solutions in both spaces. That is why we started building the online and store presence in parallel.”
“Kriti” has been the largest exclusive Maternity/Nursing Brand in India since its inception. They have constantly worked upon and updated their research and innovation in this area through fabrics, silhouette, techniques, finishes etc. “Kriti” was started with a clear vision of offering complete Maternity & Nursing solutions to their customers and they had a clear idea of the market size as they were and remain the only destination store for these products in India.
“Kriti” is an inhouse brand exclusively made to take care of the specific needs of Pregnant & Nursing Mom which was launched in the year 2013. The creation of this Brand/Product offering is in-line with their conceptual vision of offering a complete solution to a new Mom starting from the day she conceives.” Supam Maheshwari, comments further.
Me N Moms
Conceived in the year 1994, established by first generation entrepreneur Mr. Naresh Khatar, M.D. and Founder, Me N Moms aims to make parenting a more joyful journey. From a single store outlet to now being a Pan India entity with more than 90 outlets, Me N Moms aims at making all the baby care and mother care products accessible across India.
The understanding towards the needs of a modern Indian mother while keeping in mind the child’s comfort, overall development of a child has been a catalyst for this brand’s success.
In the year 2006, Mr. Naresh Khatar realized that baby care and parenting range is restricted to the upper echelon of the society due to its premium pricing. However, every infant deserves a safe and sound development. He thus launched the in-house brand ‘MEE MEE’ which started with a small product line. The international quality and the affordable price range made MeeMee a popular label amongst the consumers.
Today, the brand is country’s only label that offers products in every category of childcare and mother care and has more than 400 SKUs that are present across all Me N Moms outlets along with more than 2000 leading stores across the country. The core aim of MeeMee is to let every mother experience the ‘Joy of Parenting’ and this maternity collection reinstates the same as it is a perfect amalgamation of style, comfort and utility.
Inner Sense :
New Era Organic International Standard Lingerie: Today everyone wants to live with organically prepared items, to avoid getting in contact with any harmful chemicals.
Eating organic food alone isn’t enough; with the introduction of “Inner Sense” in the Indian market, every woman can wear lingerie that is organic, anti-odour & anti-microbial.
Inner Sense-Maternity also resolves to provide fresh colors, prints & styles in super soft nursing bras to relieve moms from boring ones & celebrate motherhood with them. You can wear our incredible products all day long without any hint of discomfort or irritation.
“There is a dire need in India for hygienic organic innerwear, that’s the core reason for setting up this company & launching the brand ‘Inner Sense’
The founder Neerja Lakhani is a fashion designer from NIFT with over 10 years’ experience in design & specialisation in organic clothing.” Neerja Lakhani, co-founder, Inner Sense.