Spectra Breast Pump Reviews By A Lactation Consultant

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For the longest time, there were limited options when it came to personal breast pumps. Then the Spectra pumps arrived on the scene. Game changer!

Moms told me that they loved this new breast pump. 

Whenever I talk to a mom who uses a breast pump, I ask what pump she has. I started hearing moms were using a Spectra breast pump more and more often.

I decided it was time for me to do a complete spectra breast pump reviews post for you.

There are many different reasons to pump. Whether you are pumping to build your freezer stash or pumping while at work or to increase your milk supply, you want an efficient pump that is comfortable. 

Do the line of Spectra breast pumps deliver? Read my complete Spectra breast pump reviews to find out.

SPECTRA BREAST PUMP REVIEWS

WHAT MAKES SPECTRA BREAST PUMPS UNIQUE?

The company says their Natural Nursing Technology sets their pumps apart from other breast pumps.

Natural Nursing Technology is the pumps set of unique features:

  • Comfortable suction levels
  • Two modes of suction, including the massage mode which can help stimulate your let-down reflex.
  • A physical barrier between the pump motor and your milk means there is no risk of backflow.
  • Convenient to operate 

“Natural Nursing Technology mimics as closely as possible the experience of natural breastfeeding,” the Spectra website states.

Another terrific feature is how quiet the pumps are. Nobody wants a noisy pump. These pumps are very quiet at 45 decibels.

What Does The Spectra Closed System Mean?

The closed system is an important consideration because you want to be sure your pumped milk is protected from contamination. 

The way that the Spectra breast pumps are made ensures that your milk cannot back up into the pump motor. When milk can back up into the motor, there is the potential that mold or bacteria could grow. Yuck!

WHY MOMS LOVE SPECTRA PUMPS

A lot of the mamas who I talked to had used the Medela Pump In Style with a previous baby. They were able to compare their pumping experiences with the Spectra and the Medela pump.

These moms told me that they got more milk with the Spectra.

  • They thought the Spectra was quieter.
  • They like the flexibility that the combo of the cycle and vacuum settings offer.
  • The Spectra pumps are at a really good price point.
  • They like that they have the option to buy just the pump or the bundle with the tote bag and cooler.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT SPECTRA BREAST PUMP MODELS?

The Spectra line of breast pumps provides the nursing mom with a variety of options.

There are four different models in the Spectra breast pump line.

SPECTRA S3 PRO

The Spectra S3 Pro is a hospital grade multi-user pump. It is only available for purchase to medical facilities, lactation centers, and certain vendors. 

You might be able to rent a Spectra S3 Pro. Check your local rental stations.

I will not be reviewing the Spectra S3 since this post is focused on personal pumps.

WHAT DO THE THREE DIFFERENT SPECTRA PERSONAL PUMP MODELS HAVE IN COMMON?

  • Single or double pumping capability
  • LCD screen
  • Massage mode
  • Auto shut-off feature – pump shuts off after 30 minutes

The massage setting simulates how a baby sucks when they first latch on to your breast. This setting helps stimulate your let-down reflex. Any mom who has ever pumped knows that it’s crucial to have a let-down to have a productive pumping session.

SPECTRA S1 BREAST PUMP OVERVIEW

  • Spectra S1 weight – 3 pounds
  • 7.5” x 7”
  • Color – light blue and white
  • 12 suction levels
  • Maximum suction of 270 mmHg
  • Built-in nightlight
  • Auto shut-off feature
  • Power source: rechargeable battery or Ac adapter

Included Spectra S1 Accessories

  • Two 24mm Spectra Breast Flanges
  • Two 28mm Spectra Breast Flanges
  • Two Spectra Tubing
  • Two Spectra Duckbill Valves
  • Two Spectra Backflow Protectors. Includes silicone membrane, uppercase, and lowercase for each Backflow Protector
  • Two Spectra Wide Neck Storage Bottles. Includes nipple, cap, disc, and lid for each bottle
  • One Spectra 12-Volt AC Power Adapter

SPECTRA S1 BATTERY

The rechargeable battery is one of the highlights of the S1. It provides pumping freedom. You are not limited to only pumping where you have an electrical outlet.

How Long Does It Take The Battery To Charge?

It takes four hours to charge the battery. Although it might be tempting to charge it overnight, it is not recommended to charge it longer than four hours. Longer charge times can decrease battery life.

Spectra S1 Battery Life

You can expect three hours of pumping time when the battery is fully charged. There are bars on the LCD screen to indicate how much time the battery has left. One bar equals one hour.

The battery indicator will let you know when you need to recharge by flashing. When it starts flashing, you have 30 minutes of charge left.

SPECTRA S1 REVIEW

WHAT IS GREAT ABOUT THE SPECTRA S1?

  • Closed system
  • Lightweight
  • Quiet
  • Has two different power source options
  • The rechargeable battery means that you can pump anywhere. You are not restricted to locations with an electrical outlet.

The built-in nightlight means you can see the pump buttons without turning on lights during those middle of the night pumping sessions. This feature means it will be easier to fall back to sleep, and you won’t disturb your partner.

WHERE THE SPECTRA S1 COULD IMPROVE

If you are not a fan of pastel colors, light blue may not be your favorite.

SPECTRA S2 BREAST PUMP OVERVIEW

  • Spectra S2 weight – 3 pounds
  • 7.5” x 7”
  • Color – light pink and white
  • 12 suction levels
  • Maximum suction of 270 mmHg
  • Built-in nightlight
  • Auto shut-off feature

Included Spectra S2 Accessories

  • Two 24mm Spectra Breast Flanges
  • Two 28mm Spectra Breast Flanges
  • Two Spectra Tubing
  • Two Spectra Duckbill Valves
  • Two Spectra Backflow Protectors. Includes silicone membrane, uppercase, and lowercase for each Backflow Protector
  • Two Spectra Wide Neck Storage Bottles. Includes nipple, cap, disc, and lid for each bottle
  • One Spectra 12-Volt AC Power Adapter

SPECTRA S1 VS SPECTRA S2

Which Spectra pump is the best?

Deciding which Spectra pump is the best comes down to three factors.

Do you have a color preference? 

  • The Spectra S1 is blue and white.
  • The Spectra S2 is pink and white.

Do you need or want the option to be able to pump using the rechargeable battery?

  • The Spectra S1 has a rechargeable battery, which allows you to pump without access to an electrical outlet.
  • The Spectra S2 requires access to an electrical outlet.

What is your budget for a breast pump?

The convenience of being able to pump using the rechargeable battery will cost you about $40. 

If you are on a tight budget and don’t need the rechargeable battery option, then the S2 is the best choice.

SPECTRA BREAST PUMP SETTINGS

Expression Mode vs. Massage Mode

The massage mode is a rapid cycle at a lower suction that simulates the way a baby sucks when they first latch on before your milk lets down.

The Expression setting is intended for after your milk lets down.

Buttons On The S1 and S2

There are seven buttons on the S1 and S2. 

  • The power button is color-coordinated with the pump color
  • The massage mode button, aka the let-down button, is right above the power button.
  • Cycle buttons
    • There are six different levels
    • A cycle is one suck/release
    • + to increase how frequently the pump cycles
    • – to decrease the frequency of cycles
    • The massage or let-down setting is preset at 70 cycles and cannot be changed
    • Expression – there is a range of 38-54
  • Vacuum
    • + to increase suction
    • – to decrease suction
    • There are 12 levels for the strength of the suction.
    • In the massage mode, you can adjust it from L1 to L5
    • You have the full range of the 12 levels in the expression setting.
  • Light – 3 settings
    • Low
    • High
    • Off

There are a lot of combinations between the cycle settings and vacuum settings. It will take some trial and error to determine which combination works best for you.

SPECTRA 9 PLUS OVERVIEW

The S9 is Spectra’s answer for the mom looking for a small, portable but powerful pump.

  • Weighs only ½ pound
  • 4.4” x 3” X 2”
  • Ten suction levels
  • Maximum suction of 260 mmHg
  • Rechargeable battery

Included Spectra S9 Accessories

  • Two (2) 24mm Spectra Breast Flanges
  • Two (2) Spectra Tubing
  • Two (2) Spectra Duckbill Valves
  • Two (2) Spectra Backflow Protectors. Includes silicone membrane, uppercase, and lowercase for each Backflow Protector
  • Two (2) Spectra Wide Neck Storage Bottles. Includes nipple, cap, disc, and lid for each bottle
  • One (1) Spectra 9-Volt AC Power Adapter. Includes detachable power cord prongs

The S9 Buttons

The S9 has four buttons.

  • Power button
  • Massage setting
  • Increase (+) or decrease (-) suction level.

SPECTRA 9 PLUS REVIEW

What Is Awesome About The Spectra S9

The Spectra S9’s compact size means that it is truly portable. 

It has many of the same great features that the larger Spectra pumps have.

  • Closed system
  • Massage mode setting

What The Spectra S9 Is Lacking

  • You cannot control the frequency of the cycles.
  • The maximum suction is 10 mmHg lower than the S1 and S2. However, many moms won’t need suction levels that high.

WHAT IS THE WARRANTY ON THE SPECTRA BREAST PUMPS?

All three spectra pumps reviewed have a 2-year warranty on the pump and 90 days on the accessories.

SPECTRA BREAST SHIELD SIZES

The Spectra pumps come with two breast shield (aka flange) sizes, 24 mm and 28mm. There are four sizes available for moms who need a smaller or larger flange size.

  • 20 mm
  • 24 mm
  • 28 mm
  • 32 mm

As an alternative to buying a smaller flange, Spectra also has silicone massager inserts. These provide a tighter fit and cushion for increased comfort. The massager inserts are compatible only with the 24 mm and 28 mm breast shields. They will convert these shields to 20 mm.

If you are looking for a breast shield size that is smaller than 20 mm, Maymom has a variety of options that are compatible with the Spectra pumps.

If you need a flange size larger than 20 mm but smaller than 24 mm, Maymom has a 21mm flange.

SPECTRA REPLACEMENT PARTS

Nothing lasts forever. With breast pumps, there are usually parts that should be replaced on a regular basis to keep your pump functioning optimally.

The Spectra website provides guidelines for how often the different parts should be replaced. The recommendations vary according to how often a mom is pumping each day.

Pumping 1-3x/Day

Exclusively Pumping:

Tubing As needed As needed

WHERE CAN I BUY SPECTRA PUMP PARTS?

Spectra replacement parts are available through Amazon and the Spectra Baby websites.

SPECTRA BREAST PUMP BOTTLES

The bottles that come with the Spectra pumps are wide-mouthed. If you want to pump into bottles with a regular-sized mouth, there are adaptors that you can buy.

You can also pump directly into milk storage bags with an adaptor that is sold by Maymom.

Mother or mom worker pumping breastmilk by Automatic breast pump machine wirh Nursing fabric cover while typing on laptop pc computer on table. Motherhood in corporate office.

SPECTRA BREAST PUMP TIPS

  • The pump remembers your settings from your last pumping session.
    • If you prefer to start at a lower suction and then increase, you will want to turn the vacuum setting down before you turn it off.
  • If you want to use the massage setting, you have to press that button.
    • The massage setting can help stimulate your let-down. 

Your goal is to reach the highest level of suction that is comfortable. That doesn’t mean as high as you can tolerate. Keep increasing the suction until it feels like it is too strong, and then turn it down one level.

If pumping is painful, it can actually result in less milk being expressed.

Related Posts

Everything You Need To Know About Pumping Breast Milk!

Breast Pump Tips and Tricks – {11} Secrets You Need To Know

Breast Pumping Essentials – {17{ Items Every Pumping Mom Needs

FINAL THOUGHTS ON MY SPECTRA BREAST PUMP REVIEWS

I think the line of Spectra breast pumps provides the breastfeeding mom with a variety of options. While there is not one pump that is best for every nursing mama, most will be able to find one of the Spectra breast pumps that will meet her needs.

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