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idea will be to take the approach of Morris, Park and Sarkar4 to nd
the design requirements of a nursing bra for millennial moms, but
also to combine several features that they deem necessary into one
bra--making it customizable. Park et al.2 proved that the practice of
universal design for apparel products will not always necessarily yield
to resulting in ‘design for all’ , but instead can yield to the ‘design for
many’ motto; which means the apparel products will offer exible t
and sizes to as many wearers as possible. They encouraged designers,
students, and researchers to “explore their creativity and critical
thinking skills in nding innovative design solutions for exible and
versatile apparel products”.2
The target for this study will be between the ages 20-35. This target
group is the economic, driving force behind many consumer products
today and have been found to have a heavy inuence amongst their
peers and others, as they often are the ones to connect through social
media to give advice and feedback to others on the products most
used.5 The needs of nursing mothers will be identied through using
social media and blog sites, as through a small sample of millennial
mothers who are willing to participate.
What is missing in the millennial mother community is one
nursing bra that can serve more than one purpose. Morris, Park, and
Sarkar4 created a sports bra for breastfeeding mothers who wished
to be physically active. Their purpose was to understand the design
requirements of physically active breastfeeding moms for a sports
bra design; however, there are no current “everyday” customizable
nursing bras on the market. There are nursing bras that provide the
ease of feeding, there are soothing pads for the nipples, nipple cream,
and there are breast-pumps that help with the massaging and lactation
of breasts, however, there is not a single nursing bra that can allow
these options to be put into one product. “To the best of the authors’
knowledge, there is no research effort in the current literature, to date,
in developing a hybrid nursing/sports bra for breastfeeding women”.4
This gives room for this study to address that need as closely as
possible. Adding product personalization to new and repeat mothers
will give them the sense of control and allow them is feel more
comfortable wearing a bra that is customizable to their needs.
Though all mothers are different in many ways, a lot of them
experience the same things when it comes to nursing. Neifert, DeMarzo,
Seacat, Young, Leff, and Orleans (1990) discovered that women who
wish to engage in physical activity and who are also breastfeeding
are at greater risk for breast pain and soreness due to increased breast
volume and sensitivity associated with breastfeeding.6 Costantakos &
Watkins7 reported that the volume changes of breasts are in response
to changing hormonal concentrations during pregnancy and nursing
can cause them to become very sensitive and cause pain. Because
the breasts do not have any muscles in them and are only supported
by skin and thin ligaments, lactating breasts need additional support
to sustain extra breast weight due to lactation.4 Bowles, Steele, Wu,
Zhou, Spinks, Innis, and Wallace (2000) discovered that shoulder
straps (width and the placement of them) are also key factors in the
support of the breasts in sports bras. Though this study will focus on
creating an everyday nursing bra, this information about sports bras
is important to consider.8 What previous literature reveals is that
lactating, nursing mothers endure change of volume in breasts, which
can also cause pain. With this in mind, a customizable nursing bra
that can be used for everyday use must provide enough support and
give enough comfort to lessen as much pain as possible. This study
proposes to create a design idea that will ease the pain of lactating
breasts as well as have customizable features that gives ease of use
for breastfeeding mothers. The ultimate goal is to mass produce a
customizable bra that can accommodate many mothers.
Park et al.2 study briey touched on product personalization as an
alternative to universal design for those “individualistic” consumers.
However, they also acknowledged that the goal of universal design
is to “offer exible, customizable options to as many end-users as
possible”.2 This study proposes that there is a way to combine
universal design and product personalization in a way that does not
force the concepts to counteract one another. With using a market such
as breastfeeding millennial mothers, there can be a way for them to
customize a nursing bra that can later be mass produced for others to
try. NIKEiD allows consumers to design a shoe particularly for their
individualistic wants/needs.9 However, if it is a popular design, it can
be mass produced for as many consumers that want them. Millennial
J Textile Eng Fashion Technol. 2018;4(6):375‒376. 375
© 2018 Crawford. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which
permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.
Final design research working title: creating a design
idea for a customizable nursing bra for lactating
Volume 4 Issue 6 - 2018
Graduate Research & Teaching Assistant, University of Delaware,
Correspondence: Sheiron Crawford, Graduate Research &
Teaching Assistant, University of Delaware
M. S. Fashion and Apparel Studies 18’, 306 Alison Hall, USA,
Received: May 30, 2018 | Published: November 29, 2018
Journal of Textile Engineering & Fashion Technology
Mini Review Open Access
This research will focus on creating a design idea for a prototype
of a customizable nursing bra for lactating millennial mothers
using Lamb and Kallal’s FEA (Functional, Expressive, Aesthetics)
Consumer Needs Model (1992).1 This research will also include
inspiration from Park, Morris, Stannard and Hamilton,2 who explored
‘universal design’ within the textile and apparel eld and displayed
how it could be used as an effective framework for the apparel design
process to achieve a variety of exible and versatile outcomes by
using some or all of 7 design principles (equitable use, exibility in
use, simple and intuitive in use, perceptible information, tolerance for
error, low physical effort, and size and space for approach and use).
Universal design is the design of products and environments to be
usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need
for adaption or specialized design.3 The aim of this customizable bra
Final design research working title: creating a design idea for a customizable nursing bra for lactating
Citation: Crawford S. Final design research working title: creating a design idea for a customizable nursing bra for lactating ‘millennimoms’. J Textile Eng Fashion
Technol. 2018;4(6):375‒376. DOI: 10.15406/jteft.2018.04.00168
mothers often have similar nursing needs and they participate in the
trend of asking other moms what techniques of parenting works best
for them through networking. They eventually may adopt, change or
reject those habits based on their individual preferences. This study
aims to try a format such as NIKEiD, but for nursing bras to cater
to the similar yet different needs of breastfeeding moms; whether
it is to soothe the nipple, massage the breast to enhance lactation,
provide ease of breastfeeding using a ap, or all of the above in one
bra. The idea is to provide as many options as possible for as many
Conicts of interest
Author declares there is no conicts of interest in publishing the
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