As millennial women become moms, there is a significant shift in how they pursue their pregnancies. Years ago, pregnancy belly was a thing to hide under oversized clothes and dupattas, but not any more. The women becoming mothers today are confident of their bodies, they are choosing when to have their children and they are also enjoying the pregnancy and motherhood period. They do not merely depend on traditional wisdom but strike a balance with research and are fully aware of their situation as young moms. This shift is also seen in their choices that they make as expectant or nem moms- their dressing sense, their purchase behavior and how they wish to raise their children.
According to reports, the maternity wear industry in India had estimated at Rs 2,000 crores in 2017 growing at a CAGR of15-17% per annum. Among the apparel segments, innerwear appears to be a potential growth category across all categories. Maternity wear have made persistent inroads in India over the last few years, segmenting into pre-natal and post-natal clothing and accessories. Besides, women in the country 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, i.e. motherhood.
Trendy mother on the go
Pre- and post-pregnancy is a period when a woman's body goes through tremendous changes. With these constant changes in woman’s body size and shape, appropriate maternity outfits are a must-have for every mom-to-be to ensure the level of comfortability. Women don’t have to compromise on fashion in order to have a comfortable pregnancy. While many brands have realized this gap and have launched a host of maternity apparel, this category is still fairly small in India, but picking up at great speed.
Innovation in maternity clothing
Maternity wear can be divided into two major categories- pregnancy and nursing wear. While they can be one or both, nursing wear allows women to comfortably work (at home or otherwise) while being able to nurse comfortably or pump. A lot of women need to be in friendlier clothes when they spend hours away from their child at work and need to pump at office. Having nursing friendly attire can make this much easier. There is also 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. The intent is most important to bring the ‘comfort factor’ which fits the changing needs of the mother’s body and skin-like feel of the fabrics.
Prominent factors behind the growth
Most pregnancy wear focuses on comfort and functionality but that doesn’t restrict to only pregnancy or nursing wear. Most of these apparel can be worn well after this period as well, the only differentiating factor is the comfort that these attires bring along which becomes a significant purchase driver due to pregnancy and nursing stages. This growing awareness is primarily from the market in the West, penetration of social media, nuclear families, higher discretionary spending and high disposable incomes have led to the growth of the maternity wear segment in India. Some other significant factors facilitating this trend are financial independence, emergent women workforce and affordability, among other things. Also, smaller family sizes have made each pregnancy special for today’s mothers, and they would like to live to the hilt during this time. Other factors like influences from the big screen and social media have also added to the growth of this segment.
The surge in the graph
Such upswing in the revenue graph indicated that the maternity care products industry in India is transforming drastically from a small-time interest market into a growing commercial sector. The market which was earlier unorganized has now turned into an organized segment primarily concentrated amongst the giant retail stores and leading manufacturing brands who are willing to expand their operations and capture the untapped market. The industry is further expanding by adding several other baby-care needs such as diaper bags, nursing pillows, baby apparel, baby accessories, dinner sets, baby bedding and blankets. The overall per capita spend on mom, and child care has grown primarily due to emerging categories in the market, and the price has not deterred the movement. On an average, the mass market, which is 52-53 per cent of India’s population is spending 1-1.5 lakh in 4 years of parenting and childcare when they’re raising a kid and living through the pregnancy journey. These are just ballpark figures which have led the mom and the childcare market to be as large as a US $ 74 billion in India today between products and services put together. This is growing at about 30-35 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
The market of maternity wear looks quite lucrative, holding immense potential of providing better choices of apparels and essentials for new mommies to make their motherhood most memorable. Moreover, it also empowers pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to make them feel confident, beautiful, and happy.