CBME China 2024

17-19 July 2024 | National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC), Shanghai, China

| EN

Understanding and Solving Chinese New Moms’ Dilemma: 3 Insights from Medela

Introducing Medela, a Swiss brand renowned for its innovative breastfeeding solutions. With a deep understanding of maternal needs, Medela has developed products such as the “Heart Rhythm” pump and hands-free technology to alleviate common breastfeeding challenges in China.

Not long ago, Medela did consumer research and the results pointed in two directions.

Firstly, for breastfeeding, there are three core points for mothers. There is breast distention after starting breastfeeding: insufficient milk supply; and sore and cracked nipples. Secondly, the concept of breastfeeding is being refined. Mothers are paying more attention to their own feelings while choosing to breastfeed.

She Jiewen, Senior Marketing Director of Medela Greater China, told us that Chinese consumers have too many product choices and preferences. So how to lead this market in a sustainable way is a challenge for Medela. The essence of the challenge is to understand consumers and provide them with the most suitable products.

Capturing consumer core points

As a Swiss brand with more than 60 years of breastfeeding research experience, Medela has always been an advocate and practitioner of breastfeeding.

In Medela’s many years of experience, there is one case that always impresses She Jiewen. A premature baby born at less than 28 weeks of gestation, weighing only 500g, grew to 8 pounds at 40 weeks. That is the weight of a normal 40-week-old baby.

The power of medical intervention should not be underestimated. But the connection between this case and Medela is that the preterm baby was using Medela’s medical-grade electric breast pump “Heart Rhythm” in the hospital.

In Medela’s observation, newborns show a particular sucking pattern during breastfeeding. The sucking action starts fast and gentle to stimulate the lactation response, and then shifts to a slower, longer sucking rhythm. The Dual Rhythm technology used in Medela breast pumps highly mimics this sucking process in newborns.

In addition, in the normal pro-feeding action, the baby’s sucking action will stimulate the mother’s brain to produce prolactin, thus promoting more and more milk secretion. But in the mother-baby separation, or the baby lying in the incubator in the state, the Heart Rhyme can be built-in patented program chip. It’s highly bionic, so that the mother’s milk output can be the same as the effect of feeding.

In order to make this breast pumpsblack technology full of black technology can let more mothers understand it, Medela newly launched the “thirty days worry-free breast milk treasure” program. The mother can rent free 30 days of heart rhyme with a special international lactation consultant to do the whole tracking service.

“The previous lactation consultant can solve the basic problem of lack of milk or less milk. Then the lactation consultant in addition to these skills, master other skills. It masters the maternal psychology, nutrition, nursing and other aspects of the skills required to guide the baby mama parenting.”

Of course, today Medela’s exploration has not only been limited to breast pumps but has become a provider of a full set of breastfeeding solutions.

According to reports, the market share of Medela’s lanolin cream has been able to reach more than 40%. The original purpose of this product is to solve the core point of baby moms’ cracked nipples during pro-feeding.

“The ingredients of the lanolin cream are very pure. 100% natural pure sheep fat from Australia, very mellow, we also call it ‘golden cream’.”

She tells us that Medela’s lanolin cream has been tested both chronically and acutely orally. It’s very safe to prevent dry and cracked nipples during breastfeeding, and to relieve pain caused by dryness and cracking. It can also be used as a lip balm and is great for baby’s red butt and drool rash.

Making moms feel better about themselves

Recently, there are two key phrases on Xiaohongshu, one is “baby daddies” and the other is “Gap day”. The latter is a term used to describe the desire of mothers to have a whole day during the week to do what they want. It refers to the fact that moms want to be able to have a whole day of the week to themselves.

These two words actually point to the fact that before becoming a mom, women are also independent individuals. They need to pay more attention to themselves and care more about their own feeling.

Medala allows moms to be better at being themselves, enjoying being a mom. It has become another important concept behind Medela’s product development.

Based on this concept, the hand-free breast pump has become the focus of Medela’s current efforts.

According to the introduction, Medela’s hands-free breast pump is equipped with a unique cup. The unique cup can be placed directly inside the mother’s bra, truly freeing the mother’s hands. In addition, this machine is also basically adapted to the host of all Medela’s breast pump products.

“Even if the mother already has a Medela, you can go and buy a separate accompanying cup. It can be inserted in the original machine to realize the previous breast pump seconds to hands-free.”

She Jiewen said that there are many hands-free products on the market, but Medela’s unique cup has its own advantages. It’s very lightweight, with a single one of only 70 grams. In addition, the unique teardrop-shaped design is more ergonomic, with no chest pressure above and support below, making it very comfortable to use. “Many moms use our hands-free support without realizing time passes, their mood is pleasant and their milk supply increases.”

Outside of the breast pump business, Medela’s “Keep Cool” pregnancy and breastfeeding bra is currently its second largest product.

The core of this bra is designed with double honeycomb breathable zones and a special treatment on the fabric to wick away sweat. It enhances the overall sense of comfort and coolness when women wear it. Medela observered that during pregnancy and breastfeeding, some specific areas of a woman’s body temperature rise due to accelerated blood circulation.

In 2024, Medela also launched a new bra “7D Wire Sculpture”. Medela hopes to enhance the support of breasts of pregnant and nursing mothers through the wire sculpture bra. In that way, mothers can have a better sense of body shape, mold their pregnancy and nursing beauty, and enhance the sense of well-being.

Entering Pinduoduo to meet the needs of differentiated groups

Pinduoduo is a pioneering social shopping platform from China that blends e-commerce with group buying to offer consumers an engaging and cost-effective shopping experience. Today, the consumer psychology of the whole consumer is evolving towards two poles:

One part of the rational consumer group attaches more and more importance to cost-effectiveness and quality-price ratio. The other part of the high net worth group still has strong purchasing power and continuous demand for high-end consumer goods.

This actually constitutes another important observation of Medela’s consumer population. Opening Medela’s official flagship store in Pinduoduo has also become a logical thing to do under this observation.

As a relatively high-end brand, Medela is also customizing its products for the Pinduoduo channel, including bras as well as breast pumps. This move is to cater to relatively rational consumers who are more focused on quality-price ratio.

“We hope we can give these ‘sophisticated and savvy’ consumers some better product choices at a price they can accept.”

As a mother of two, She Jiewen deeply understands how difficult it is for breastfeeding mothers. That’s why she also hopes that Medela can be a friend and family member to moms during their most difficult time of breastfeeding.

As a matter of fact, Medela has entered the Chinese market since 2007, and has been continued to lead the market for 17 years. Its achievements mainly lie in continuous innovation, which is rooted in consumer insight and the brand’s main theme of “Science Achieves Care”. They are constantly iterating the demand for refinement and evolution.


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