Voice of the industry: Lorna Drew

If there is one area of the lingerie industry set to be on the rise in an economic downturn, it’s the maternity and nursing lingerie market. The baby boom is definitely upon us, with birth rates on the rise year on year from the start of the recession in 2008.

Not only has the market for maternity lingerie grown, but socially, the nation’s interest in maternity and birth seem to have taken centre stage like never before, with award-winning TV shows like Call the Midwife and One Born Every Minute giving us episode after episode of miraculous births, along with documentaries such as Is Breast Best? Cherry Investigates and How to be the Perfect Mother, which interviewed seven mothers with very extreme views of what made the perfect mother.

This new found popularity has had a huge knock-on effect to the maternity lingerie business. Ten years ago, the maternity sector at your local lingerie store would be hidden away in a back cupboard or dark corner where only the very desperate of mothers would venture; forced to face the impending doom of the slouchy bras in the same styles their grandmothers would be wearing.

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But today’s breastfeeding mothers have never been so educated on how a bra should fit. Breastfeeding options, midwifery advice, celebrity culture and maternity fashion trends are all in abundance. Websites like MumsNet share ideas, while stay-at-home mums broadcast their views on blogs and Twitter to an international following.

Our customer now expects so much more than just a bra with no wire. Today’s customer wants comfort, style, fashion, colour, functionality, quality, consideration of environmental and ethical issues, value for money and a bra that is going to last them over more than one cup size.

All these demands have pushed new maternity brands to find fresh solutions to the growing demands of the modern mother. At Lorna Drew Nursing Lingerie we completely reworked nursing bra design, creating a bra on which mums can individually adjust each cup over three cup sizes. For a personal and comfortable fit, combined with fashion-savvy style we managed to storm into the maternity market with a totally unique product, that our customers could try on and see the benefits of the bra at work.

The maternity market is more diverse, beautiful and technically advanced than it has ever been. More innovation means more competition, and more competition means better value, comfort and style for new customers. With the Duchess of Cambridge due to have her first baby in late summer, maternity lingerie is sure to be in the public spotlight for a good year to come.

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