Modern-day women are calling for a new outlook in the offering of maternity intimates on the market. The concept of pregnancy being a woman’s sole purpose is completely outdated – today’s expecting mothers are on the go, busy, and hard at work, continuing to lead very demanding lives outside of their upcoming motherhood. A study done by PEW research center determined that from the early 1960’s to the 2000’s, the amount of women working while pregnant increased by 22%. According to Census data in 2008, 66% of woman were maintaining full-time employment during their pregnancy. Due to this trend of women maintaining their careers through pregnancy, intimate apparel brands have adjusted their offerings to provide products that satisfy the needs of these modern mothers-to-be.
The modern woman seeks comfort during pregnancy, in addition to flexibility. Marion Pradier-Sentucq, Director of Sales and Branding at CURVE said, “I was looking for bras that I could wear during maternity and also nursing.” This desire for a dual-function bra for the busy mother-to-be inspired many intimate apparel brands. Mayana Geneviere, a Canadian brand that focuses on beautiful and comfortable products for the transitional experience of womanhood, offers the Nikki Long Line Bralette. This unique product is luxuriously supportive and adaptable to the changing body, with an added bonus of undetectable nursing capabilities. These versatile items allow the wearer to take the pieces through pregnancy and nursing, making them long-lasting and cost-effective
Most women today seek intimates designed in soft, breathable fabrics – but as the body changes, the value of comfort becomes of the most importance. Mothers-to-be also desire “fit-forgiving” items, says Kaitlin Wilbur, Bra Designer at Adore Me. Modern moms are on-the-go and won’t sacrifice their personal style. With fit-forgiving intimate apparel, they can continue to express their true personal styles as their bodies begin to change. Pregnant women, even those who typically wear an underwire, often seek a wireless bra during pregnancy for adaptability and comfort. Fit remains one of the most important purchase factors of all intimate apparel, but it is the #1 decision-making factor when looking for maternity intimates. Anita, a leading intimate apparel brand, provides maternity bras that grow with expecting mothers and provide support that relieves strain on the shoulders and neck. A changing body can be difficult for some women, and a perfectly fitting bra can be the best tool to ease the process of transition.
Although comfort is crucial during pregnancy and nursing, women still want to feel beautiful and sexy. These factors should not be sacrificed as they go through the process of becoming a mother. Cake Maternity, an Australian maternity and nursing bra brand, offers the Truffles Molded Cup Plunge Lace Nursing Bra. This product is made of soft, stretch lace and is ideal from the 2nd trimester to 6+ weeks onward. Comfort and sexy design should be able to co-exist, and this is the intersection of capabilities that intimate apparel brands need to consider when designing maternity products.
There is a continued need for intimate apparel brands that offer maternity products to create designs that are comfortable and versatile, for the modern woman. The focus of products must be to provide women with ease during this time of change. Many brands have already began innovating on this concept, but there is more opportunity in the market.