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Title:
A GARMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/039702
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A garment (12) in this case is an undergarment comprising a bra section (13), an abdominal support section (14) and an intermediate section (15) at the junction between the bra section and the abdominal support section. The bra section comprises first and second layers (16 and 17) so that the mother may breastfeed the infant (11). The abdominal support section (14) may include a lower elastic band (18) and a stretch fabric region (19) bridging up to the juncture (15) where a further band (20) joins or connects the bra section and abdominal support sections together.

Inventors:
SHIRLEY, Jonathan (32 Hibiscus Ave, Ashgrove, Queensland 4060, AU)
SHIRLEY, Melita (32 Hibiscus Ave, Ashgrove, Queensland 4060, AU)
Application Number:
AU2017/000181
Publication Date:
March 08, 2018
Filing Date:
September 01, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
JOLITA PTY LTD (19 Larwill Ave, Northgate, Queensland 4013, AU)
International Classes:
A41C1/10; A41C3/04
Foreign References:
US20040016039A12004-01-29
US6855029B22005-02-15
US20040177429A12004-09-16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
INTELLEPRO PATENT & TRADE MARK ATTORNEYS (GPO Box 1339, Brisbane, Queensland 4001, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A postpartum garment comprising a bra section, an abdominal support section and an intermediate section between the bra section and the abdominal support section, the intermediate section having an elastic transition of relatively greater elasticity than the material of the bra section or the abdominal support section.

2. A postpartum garment according to claim 1 wherein the bra section includes a moveable flap, flaps or cover to facilitate access for breastfeeding.

3. A postpartum garment according to claim 1 wherein the bra section includes a moveable flap, flaps or cover to facilitate access for breastfeeding, the garment having a waist region with the flap, flaps or cover being joined to the remainder of the garment at or adjacent the waist region and being fastened above the bra section.

4. A postpartum garment according to claim 1 wherein the the abdominal support section is is essentially tube like.

5. A postpartum garment according to claim 1 wherein the abdominal support section has upper and lower marginal sections of relatively high elastic characteristics compared to the remainder of the abdominal support section.

6. A postpartum garment according to claim 1 wherein the abdominal support section extends over the abdomen and down over the hips of a user.

7. A postpartum garment according to claim 1 wherein the bra section includes a moveable flap, flaps or cover to facilitate access for breastfeeding and wherein the the abdominal support section is is essentially tube like.

8. A postpartum garment according to claim 1 wherein the bra section includes a moveable flap, flaps or cover to facilitate access for breastfeeding and wherein the the abdominal support section is is essentially tube like and wherein the abdominal support section has upper and lower marginal sections of relatively high elastic characteristics compared to the remainder of the abdominal support section.

9. A postpartum garment according to claim 1 wherein the bra section includes a moveable flap, flaps or cover to facilitate access for breastfeeding and wherein the the abdominal support section is is essentially tube like and wherein the abdominal support section has upper and lower marginal sections of relatively high elastic characteristics compared to the remainder of the abdominal support section, and wherein the abdominal support section extends over the abdomen and down over the hips of a user.

10. A postpartum garment according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the bra section comprises a layer effectively forming a single fabric tube and having a neckline, while the abdominal support section also comprises a single fabric tube, the garment includes a cover flap as a layer which is formed as a single flap hinged at or about the waist region along a hinge line and being adapted to cover both breasts, the flap having a neckline matching the neckline of the bra section and being fastened on each side of the bra section.

11. A postpartum garment according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the bra section comprises a layer effectively forming a single fabric tube and having a neckline, while the abdominal support section also comprises a single fabric tube, the garment includes a cover flap as a layer which is formed as a single flap hinged at or about the waist region along a hinge line and being adapted to cover both breasts, the flap having a neckline matching the neckline of the bra section and being fastened on each side of the bra section, the bra section having openings covered by the flap and corresponding to each breast and being so sized to accommodate respective nursing pads.

12. A postpartum garment according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the intermediate section comprises a non-rollable high density knitted or woven elastic, rubber or polyethylene having a width of 1cm - 5 cm.

13. A postpartum garment according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the abdominal support section is comprised of a woven stretch fabric selected from the types set out in the following table: Elastane Content Other Fabric Content Fabric Density

5-30% 70-95% polyamide 130-350 g/m2

5-30% 70-95% cotton 130-350 g/m2

5-30% 70-95% cotton/polyester blend 130-350 g/m2

5-30% 70-95% nylon 130-350 g/m2

5-30% 70-95% polyester 130-350 g/m2

5-30% 70-95% rayon (viscose or modal or bamboo) 130-350 g/m2

5-30% 70-95% blended polyester/cotton/viscose 130-350 g/m2

5-30% 70-95% blended polyester/nylon/viscose 130-350 g/m2

5-30% 70-95% blended polyester/nylon 130-350 g/m2

14. A postpartum garment according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the bra section comprises a woven stretch fabric selected from the types set out in the following table:

Elastane Content Other Fabric Content Fabric Density

5-30% 70-95% Polyamide 130-350 g/m2

5-30% 70-95% cotton 130-350 g/m2

5-30% 70-95% cotton/polyester blend 130-350 g/m2

5-30% 70-95% nylon 130-350 g/m2

5-30% 70-95% polyester 130-350 g/m2

5-30% 70-95% rayon (viscose or modal or bamboo) 130-350 g/m2

5-30% 70-95% blended polyester/cotton/viscose 130-350 g/m2

5-30% 70-95% blended polyester/nylon/viscose 130-350 g/m2 5-30% 70-95% blended polyester/nylon 130-350 g/m2

15. A postpartum garment according to any one of the preceding claims wherein a flap covers the bra section and the flap comprises a woven stretch fabric selected from the types set out in the following table:

16. A postpartum garment according to any one of the preceding claims wherein a bra support wire or elastic is employed above the intermediate section.

17. A postpartum garment according to any one of claims 1 - 15 wherein a bra support wire or elastic is employed above the intermediate section and a breast cover flap is hinged to the garment just below the bra support wire or elastic.

Description:
A GARMENT

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] THIS INVENTION relates to postpartum wear and in particular to so called "activewear" to encourage nursing mothers to engage in an active lifestyle and activities that enhance recovery following pregnancy and birth.

BACKGROUND

[0002] The shape and weight of a woman's body changes dramatically during, and after pregnancy. During pregnancy, a growing baby causes outward and downward stress, the stretching of surrounding muscles and ligaments, back pain is a common complaint and there is relaxation of the soft tissue around the sacroiliac joints to facilitate expansion of the pelvis during delivery. After delivery the body reshapes over the following months. The recovery process and speed of recovery varies based on a number of factors specific to each individual and pregnancy including the level of fitness before, during and after pregnancy and the level of activity engaged in post birth.

[0003] Various garments have been proposed to provide support during pregnancy to mitigate the discomfort arising from the change in centre of gravity caused by the pregnancy, these involve some kind of lumbar and underbelly arrangement. In the case of postpartum garments there are again arrangements to support the abdominal muscles that have become stretched. Recovery and the speed of recovery depends on a number of factors including being active and unfortunately many of these supports do not promote or facilitate an active lifestyle as in general they are too bulky and cumbersome. Many are girdle-like and in an effort to provide a form of customisation or adjustment, sacrifice comfort and style for perceived practical benefits arising from a user being able to regulate, through some mechanical means, the compressive force applied to the abdomen.

[0004] Examples are in the following patents/patent applications (located in a post invention search) the full disclosures of which are incorporated herein in their entirety, with notes concerning the teachings as is applicable to how these address similar issues to those addressed by the present invention:

US3,442,270 - the patent teaches the use of an abdominal support with adjustment straps for different sizes;

US3, 570,480 - this patent teaches a therapeutic abdominal support involving a central back support and three wrap around wings and which is adjustable for different body sizes and shapes;

US3, 598,114 - this patent teaches a wrap around back and abdominal support for different sizes and which has a cavity to receive a back support pad;

US3,603,316 - this patent teaches variation in support across an abdominal support by using drawstrings to tighten the support in that region;

US3,752,163; - this patent teaches an abdominal support that is for persons who are engaged in some form of physical exercise activity and particularly for postpartum physical activity, it is made of two material one stretchable around the wearer but not along the wearer, to this is added a non-stretch fabric. It is of the wrap around form so as to be adjustable;

US3, 812,862 - this patent teaches the use of two ribbons or belts of one-way stretch fabric that encircles a wearer and are stitched together along overlapping edges. The support can be adjusted in width as well as size;

US3,920,008 - this patent teaches a primary abdominal support that wraps around a wearer and then further section which wrap around this primary support, it is adjustable due to it being wrap around;

US6,921 ,375 - this patent teaches a two part wraparound support that has offset overlapping straps and caters for the change in body shape due the pelvic angle relative to the lumboabdominal region;

US7, 160,262 - this patent teaches a H-shaped wraparound support for postpartum use where ends pass through slits and then these are used to tighten the support;

US7,425,171 - this patent teaches a very specific postpartum support for use after caesarean deliveries;

US8,430,830 - this patent teaches the use of a compression garment where a elastic foam layer is applied following body sculpting surgery. An out cotton fabric is then applied to the foam. • US2013/0116609 - this patent application teaches a wraparound back and abdominal support that applies intraperitoneal pressure to attain retroflexion suppression to support the sacroiliac joint;

• WO2007/041243 - this patent application teaches a wraparound post c-section support that specifically focuses on the incision and surrounds the body in that region, it is elastic but has a wide range of adjustment to cater for rapid change in girth during recovery.

[0005] In addition to abdominal changes, a nursing mother experiences breast enlargement and variations in size due to feeding and there is a requirement for greater breast support as well as the requirement to be able to breastfeed.

[0006] A nursing mother has particular requirements in relation to a brassiere (bra). A bra generally comprises a front having two cups, sides or wings (which extend under the arms and around the back) and straps which extend from adjacent each cup over each shoulder to meet the wings at the back. There are many variations on the bra and bra fitting itself can be rather complex depending on size requirements. A nursing mother has additional requirements related to lactation and breastfeeding. This usually involves the interposition of a pad to account for any discharge as well as some form of flap to enable access to the nipple for breastfeeding. It also includes the ability of the fabric to stretch and compress depending on the volume of milk inside, which varies naturally as part of breastfeeding.

[0007] Examples of bra arrangements follow, the full disclosure of which are incorporated herein by reference are in the followings patents:

• US5, 553,468 - this patent teaches the use of a cylindrical knitted blank used to make a tubular bra;

• US5, 605,060 - this patent teaches a tank top type with integrally formed breast cups

• US5,592,836 - this patent teaches the use of a cylindrical knitted blank used to make a tubular bra where the support panels are knitted to give greater resistance and support;

• US5,850,745 - this patent teaches the use of a cylindrical knitted blank used to make a tubular bra with curved contours stitched onto the blank to define the borders of the bra cups;

• US6,287,168 -this patent teaches the use of a cylindrical knitted blank used to make a tubular bra and has a region of greater resistance to stretching in a central panel between the breast cups;

• US5,441 ,436 - this patent teaches are sports bra made from layers with an inner

moisture wicking layer;

• US1 ,989,382 - this patent teaches a nursing bra with waterproof pad holding portion soa nursing pad may be inserted and readily removed.

[0008] Unlike the prior art, the present invention provides gentle compressive support while at the same time giving the nursing mother confidence to be active and also feed her baby at her convenience, by reason of the combined effect of slim lines, breastfeeding functionality and simplicity of the present garment.

[0009] Disclosure of these patents should not be taken as an admission that any are part of the common general knowledge anywhere.

[0010] An object of the present invention is to provide improvements in or in relation to postpartum garments that at least provides a useful alternative to available garments. It will be appreciated that there have been a multitude of arrangements of garments. The art may be described as "crowded" or a "developed" art. In order to alleviate problems related to garments there have no doubt been a wide variety of solutions. Even though the art has become crowded, many offerings have not been widely accepted. Consequently, there is a requirement for a fresh look at the general problems and to look "outside the box" through new eyes in an effort to provide an alternative to the efforts made over the last many years. It would be desirable to have something that is simple and easy to assemble yet effective but employing common techniques and methods to arrive at a new and useful combination and result.

[0011] This means that the present invention does not arise through any deterministic relationship to the prior art but rather is the inventor's own inspiration in an individualistic way applying the inventor's mind to the general state of the art and to the inventor's knowledge and recognition of defects that might be remedied, this being as an alternative to what is currently available, rather than an effort to deal with any specific generally recognised extant problem of the prior art. OUTLINE

[0012] A postpartum garment comprising a bra section, an abdominal support section and an intermediate section between the bra section and the abdominal support section, the intermediate section having an elastic transition of relatively greater elasticity than the material of the bra section or the abdominal support section. In the preferred form the sections are supportive and responsive in so far as they stretch and compress as needed.

[0013] Preferably, the bra section is supportive and responsive, stretches and compresses as needed to provide additional breast support. The bra section typically includes a moveable flap, flaps or cover to facilitate access for breastfeeding. The cover or flap may be a single flap joined at or adjacent the waist but any suitable means may be employed so that a nursing mother may gain access through the bra section to breast feed. The flap or cover may include one or more fasteners. The flaps typically have bilateral breast cover regions which are so made and arranged to each accommodate a respective nursing pad. Each flap may overlay a bra opening. The flap or flaps may lift in any direction. The bra opening may be of any shape. Typically the flap or flaps are releasably secured to the bra adjacent a top part of the flaps. The flaps and underlying bra preferably share matching necklines.

[0014] The sections may have relatively the same or similar characteristics or the stretch and compression may be relatively greater or lesser depending on a particular user's requirements. The flaps may also be a stretch fabric.

[0015] It is most preferable that fasteners be minimised across the garment and in particular that the abdominal support section be fastenerless across a major portion so that it is essentially tube like.

[0016] The bra section is preferably tube like in its forms so that it may be put on as pullover. Preferably, the whole garment is a one piece pullover garment.

[0017] The construction of the garment is such that the same or differing levels of compression fabrics are able to be applied to the bra and abdominal support sections depending on the needs of the wearer, connected by an intermediate transition comprised of a high support elastic.

[0018] The garment negates the need for wearing three separate items: a bra, a breastfeeding top and a compression support garment.

[0019] The sections may typically be of about the same length. The abdominal support section may have upper and lower marginal section of relatively high elastic characteristics compared to the remainder of the abdominal support section. Abdominal support section typically extends at least over the abdomen but may extend down over the hips. In some case it may be contiguous with a lower section that extends across the thighs.

[0020] The garment may be an undergarment or an outer garment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0021] In order that the present improvements may be more readily understood and put into practical effect reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings which illustrate preferred embodiments of the invention and wherein:-

Figure 1 is a drawing illustrating a mother and infant using a garment made according to the teachings of a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 2 and 3 are respective front and rear views of the garment shown in Figure 1 ;

Figure 4 is a side view and part section of the garment of Figures 103 as fitted; and

Figures 5 and 6 are front and rear views of a second embodiment.

METHOD OF PERFORMANCE

[0022] Referring to the drawings and initially to Figure 1 there is illustrated a nursing mother 10 and infant 11 being breastfed, the mother is reclined and the infant has access to the mother's breast through a garment 12 according to the present invention. The garment 12 in this case is an undergarment comprising a bra section 13, an abdominal support section 14 and an intermediate section 15 at the junction between the bra section and the abdominal support section.

[0023] The bra section comprises first and second layers 16 and 17 so that the mother may breastfeed the infant 11. The abdominal support section 14 may include a lower elastic band 18 and a stretch fabric region 19 bridging up to the juncture 15 where a further band 20 joins or connects the bra section and abdominal support sections together.

[0024] Figures 2 and 3 show the garment 12 in greater detail. In this example, the bra section

13 comprising layer 16 effectively forms a single fabric tube while the abdominal support section

14 also comprises a single fabric tube. The layer 16 has a neck line 21 and the layer 17 is formed as a single flap 22 hinged at or about the waist region 23 along a hinge line 24. The flap 22 has a matching neck line 25 and fastener loops 26 and 27.

[0025] In this case there are four bra straps (but strap combinations can vary significantly whilst maintaining a similar design), namely shoulder straps 28 and 29 and cross-over straps 30 and 31 . An extra support wire or elastic 32 may be employed below breast openings 33 and 34. Each of the openings 33 and 34 may be circular, oval or triangular and have a suitable hem at 35, 36.

[0026] The layer 16 has a V-cut back 37 with the spacing between the line of the V and the elastic band, which encircles the waist just below the line of the breasts, is determined according to the particular requirements and can vary with size. The bra section will vary in size according to normal sizing requirement for bras. This is shown wider in Figure 4 for example.

[0027] Figure 4 illustrates in side view the garment 12 being worn by a user shown in broken line, the flap 22 has capacity for the insertion of a nursing pad 39 and each side of the flap 22 may be released independently as depicted in Figure 1 , each loop 26 and 27 having an associated fastener 40 and 41.

[0028] Figures 5 and 6 showing an alternative construction of a garment 42 which in this case utilises the same abdominal support section 14 and elastic band 20 but a different bra section 43. In this case the straps of the previous embodiment are replaced with a uniformly single layer fabric strap 44 centre 45 back and front 46 as shown. The wing sections extend around at 47 and 48 and meet the centre back section at 49 which in turn divides into the straps 44. A matching flap 50 similar to flap 22 is also employed in this embodiment. Breastfeeding is facilitated through fasteners 51 and 52.

[0029] By reason of tubular form of the bra section and the abdominal support section a gentle compression may be applied by selection of suitable fabric. Rather than try and make a one size fits all by having a complex mechanical adjustment a user may elect an appropriate fabric for comfort and individual abdominal support requirements.

[0030] Fabrics preferred are various fabric employing an inextensible fibre such as polyester, nylon or cotton woven to limit stretch with an elastic of the type known under the guises of spandex, supplex, elastane or lycra. In terms of active wear, so called wicking or breathable forms may be preferred in all or certain regions. One example of a suitable fabric is sold under the brand name Subli-Cool 2.0 from Eclipse Textiles and is a polyester warp knit fabric with suitable properties being sweat absorbing, quick drying, plus cool and comfortable to wear due to its yarn construction.

PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS

Composition: 74% Polyester 26% Elastane

Weight: 250gsm +/- 5%

Width: 150cm +/- 5%

[0031] Other suitable fabrics include VITA XTRA LIFE LYCRA 309VITA 78% Polyamide and 22% Elastane and 190 g/m 2 or 285 g/m 2 or 616ATLANTA PLUS 80% Polyamide and 20% Elastane and 225 g/m 2 or 337 g/m 2 .

[0032] While these fabrics are preferred there are a range of suitable fabrics that may be used in the abdominal support section comprised of a woven stretch fabric of the types set out in the following table: Elastane Content Other Fabric Content Fabric Density

5-30% 70-95% polyamide 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% cotton 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% cotton/polyester blend 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% nylon 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% polyester 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% rayon (viscose or modal or bamboo) 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% blended polyester/cotton/viscose 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% blended polyester/nylon/viscose 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% blended polyester/nylon 130-350 g/m 2

[0033] The layer 16 is of a similar or the same fabric as the compression abdominal support fabric in order to provide support to the breast area.

[0034] As above there are a range of suitable fabrics that may be used in the breast support section comprising a woven stretch fabric of the types set out in the following table:

Elastane Content Other Fabric Content Fabric Density

5-30% 70-95% Polyamide 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% cotton 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% cotton/polyester blend 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% nylon 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% polyester 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% rayon (viscose or modal or bamboo) 130-350 g/m 2 5-30% 70-95% blended polyester/cotton/viscose 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% blended polyester/nylon/viscose 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% blended polyester/nylon 130-350 g/m 2

[0035] The flaps 22, 50 require similar elastic properties but need not be quite as compressive as the fabric used in the abdominal 14 or breast area 16. Some wearers may require the same level of support in this region 22, 50 as in the bra and abdominal section where others may elect a less compressive fabric, depending on the level of activity they are undertaking and their own personal preference.

[0036] As above, there are a range of suitable fabrics that may be used comprising a woven stretch fabric of the types set out in the following table:

Elastane Content Other Fabric Content Fabric Density

5-30% 70-95% Polyamide 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% cotton 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% cotton/polyester blend 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% nylon 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% polyester 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% rayon (viscose or modal or bamboo) 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% blended polyester/cotton/viscose 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% blended polyester/nylon/viscose 130-350 g/m 2

5-30% 70-95% blended polyester/nylon 130-350 g/m 2 [0037] The shelf bra band 20 is a non-rollable high density knitted or woven elastic, rubber or polyethylene, capable of providing good support to the breast region and connecting the bra and the abdominal support parts of the garment together.

[0038] There are a range of suitable high density knitted or woven elastics or polyethylenes that may be used in this section between approximately 1 cm-5cm in width.

[0039] Whilst the above has been given by way of illustrative example many variations and modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the broad ambit and scope of the invention as herein set forth. It should be noted that uses of the expression comprising, including and similar expression are not intended to mean "comprising only of but rather is intended to be non-exhaustive in the sense of meaning "at least" and reference in any consistory statement to a combination or elsewhere is only in relation to essential features contained in that statement. In the absence of a claim the present specification does not contain any statement that should be interpreted as a statement of essential features.




 
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