Breast pumps are a boon for working women who cannot constantly nurse their babies due to work commitments. Commercially available types of breast pumps are manual, battery-powered, and electric breast pumps. Inclusion of these devices within the reimbursement purview in the U.S. is boosting demand for electric breast pumps. Demand for breast pumps significantly varies across regions, owing to difference in economic condition and culture and societal beliefs.
The global breast pumps market was valued at US$ 606.6 million in 2015 and is projected to expand at a moderate CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period (2016 – 2024).
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Growing number of women in the workforce providing growth impetus
According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), around 57% of women were part of the U.S. workforce in 2015. Furthermore, the DOL projects that by 2024, women in the age group of 25 to 34 years would constitute the major share of employed women in the U.S. On the contrary, emerging economies such as India have witnessed a decline in the female workforce from 35% in 1990 to 27% in 2014 (as per the World Bank Statistics). This is mainly attributed to cultural and societal factors and dearth of suitable jobs opportunities close to place of residence. However, liberalized thinking women empowerment programs are expected to change the scenario and drive growth in the number of women enlisted with the workforce in the country during the forecast period. Countries such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have reported a significant increase in participation of women in the workforce as per the 2015 World Bank data.
Increasing disposable incomes and favorable reimbursement policies driving demand for electric breast pumps
Automated electric pumps with double pump system offer convenience to women in expressing breast milk. Increasing insurance coverage and availability of reimbursement policies is driving adoption of electric breast pumps in developed markets. Aftermarket for electric breast pumps has witnessed major traction in recent years, wherein renting is an affordable option for women, especially in developing countries. The single-electric breast pump segment is projected to expand at a CAGR of 5.9% during the forecast period (2016 – 2024). However, these devices are bulky and cumbersome to carry, inhibiting adoption to a certain extent.
Battery-powered systems are a more practical solution for on-the-go users. Thus, due to better features and benefits offered by electric and battery-powered breast pumps, demand for manually operated breast pumps is projected to experience a downward spiral during the forecast period.
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Technologically advanced breast pumps to replace manually operated breast pumps
In November 2016, Medela AG launched Sonata—a smart breast pump connected to a mobile app MyMedela. This system aids mothers to track baby’s activities, get access to expert tips, get real-time notifications, and track specific preset goals. In December 2016, Naya Health, Inc. launched Naya pump based on water-based technology. The device connects to the Naya Health Tracker app and helps mothers control the machine and track the amount of milk expressed and consumed by the baby. Such innovative technologies are expected to significantly inhibit demand for manually operated breast pumps, as it offers ease and convenience in managing nursing sessions.
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