Assessing current maternity/nursing sports bras and providing recommendations for future product development

Reeves, K., James, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-7119-3159, Mears, A. and Griggs, K. ORCID: 0000-0002-1962-9613, 2024. Assessing current maternity/nursing sports bras and providing recommendations for future product development. Research Journal of Textile and Apparel. ISSN 1560-6074 (Forthcoming)

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Purpose: Many pregnant and post-natal women do not meet physical activity (PA) guidelines. One barrier to PA for these women is finding suitable sports bras due to the numerous changes the breasts undergo. The current study aims to (1) assess current maternity/nursing sports bras in terms of purchasing activity, likes and limitations of products and (2) to determine the essential characteristics and features required for future product developments.

Design/Methodology: A mixed-methods deductive sequential approach was taken utilising an online questionnaire and in-person focus group interviews. Three-hundred and eight participants who were pregnant, had given birth within the last 12 months or were nursing at the time of data collection completed the questionnaire and 13 participants also took part in focus groups interviews.

Findings: Only 15% of maternity/nursing sports bra purchasers found exactly what they wanted with most problems relating to support, design and fit. Support and comfort were the most important characteristics with 94% and 98% of participants rating them as very important or absolutely essential. Easy nursing access, adjustability, product longevity and value and availability, in terms of where products can be purchased and sizing range, must also be considered for future products to meet user groups needs and reduce barriers to PA.

Originality: This study investigates the requirements and preferences of maternity/nursing sports bras for both pregnant and post-natal women, including an assessment of a range of commercially available products. These findings provide important implications for future product development

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Research Journal of Textile and Apparel
Creators: Reeves, K., James, R., Mears, A. and Griggs, K.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 6 June 2024
ISSN: 1560-6074
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 26 Jun 2024 15:42
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2024 15:42

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