According to a new study by Fact.MR, global sales of breast shells were close to 33 Mn units in 2018, and are estimated to register a Y-o-Y growth of over 6.0% in 2019. Key factors that influence the breast shell industry range from robust government spending on healthcare infrastructure and facilities, to technological advancements in breastfeeding accessories, and notable increase in the number of working women.
The study opines that manufacturers’ efforts towards offering comfortable breastfeeding experience to the working women with sore and sensitive nipples has been complementing the development and adoption of breast shells. Effectiveness of breast shells, to offer protection against friction against clothes and prevent rashes, has been advocating their use among women who immediately resume their work post-delivery. The study opines that presence of a relatively conservative demographic in developing economies, where open communication breastfeeding accessories is frowned upon to a certain extent, continues to remain a key growth hindrance for the breast shell market.
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Technologically-driven Breastfeeding Solutions Gain Traction
The report highlights the convergence of technology and breastfeeding accessories, engendering advances in breast shells. These advancements are primarily aimed at adjustments to distinct breast contour, and enable ventilation through pores that breathe air but prevent leakage.
The constant search for comfort among women, has provided an impetus to manufacturers in developing flexible breastfeeding accessories that adapt to the breast contours, and prevent stains from leakage. Feature-rich breast shells have been gaining momentum among the tech-savvy women, which has further created lucrative opportunities for manufacturers in terms of technology advancements, thereby auguring well for growth of the breast shell market.
The study finds that apart from benefitting women with sore and cracked nipples, breast shell also find adoption among working women suffering from breast engorgement during the postpartum period, when pumping breast during office shifts becomes difficult. Additionally, concerns apropos of developing mastitis, a bacterial infection, resulting from delay in milk pumping and leading to breast engorgement, have been expanding the customer base for breast shell manufacturers.
Growing Popularity of Effective Alternatives to Confine Adoption of Breast Shells
The study identifies the penetration of infant formulas as a restraint for the breast shell market. Infant formulas have been gaining popularity as effective alternatives to breast milk, as these include essential nutrients and vitamins for growth. Several medical conditions that prevent women from breastfeeding has given a leeway to the adoption of infant formula to ensure that the baby is fed well. Lower intake of essential fat, in light of strict diet followed women abreast the health & wellness trend, has further complemented the adoption of infant formula, thereby impeding the demand for breast shells.
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The report finds that North America will remain the leading market for breast shell, underpinned by the trends of delayed parenthood, and increased spending on premium baby care accessories. Additionally, favorable reimbursement policies and government initiatives to improve the provision of care and spread awareness about relevant products & accessories, will continue to pose an indirect impact on purchases of breastfeeding accessories. This, coupled with growing number of medical insurance schemes that cover the baby care products, have significantly upheld growth of the breast shell market in the region.