DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links. This means after trying a Spectra breast pump, I love it enough that I am willing to recommend it to others and the company will pay me a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you decide to purchase from my affiliate link. I will only recommend products and services that I have tried myself and love. However, this post is NOT sponsored by Spectra (although, if they offered to sponsor it, I would not decline 😉 ) Please click here for my full disclaimer.
For any mother who wants to continue to provide breastmilk for their child, especially mums returning to work, a Spectra breast pump is worth its weight in gold.
When I had Ella, I was adamant that I wanted her to consume breastmilk for as long as I was able to produce enough for her needs.
However, I slowly returned to work from 4 months postpartum, slowly increasing the days I worked. To ensure that my gorgeous little monkey had an adequate supply of breastmilk, I needed an adequate pump.
Why did I want to try a Spectra breast pump?
From the day Ella came home, I expressed in between feeds to build a stash of expressed milk in our freezer for ‘just in case’. I was gifted a hand pump and within 4 weeks of using it, I had lost my temper and thrown it against the wall. I was barely expressing any milk, despite having an adequate supply. The handpump started leaking the little that I managed to express and I had enough!
Any pumping mum would know… You can you will cry over spilled milk.
I asked around. With the knowledge that I was returning to work before Ella was 6 months old, I knew I needed an electric pump. The Medela brand seemed to be the most common, especially after I had used one in hospital, but I research every purchase extensively before purchasing.
One of my friends raved about the Spectra S2 Double Electric Breast Pump. It was cheaper than the equivalent Medela hospital grade pumps and seemed to have raving reviews about its amazing abilities.
I was sold.
I purchased an S2, just like my friend Jen had recommended and never looked back.
Did the Spectra breast pump solve my concerns about returning to work and maintaining a healthy supply?
It sure did. From struggling to pump 40 mL of breastmilk from one breast in 20minutes, I was able to pump 140mL in less than 10 minutes.
I remember being so excited that I took a photo of the bottle and sent it to my husband and mum!
My supply was healthy (which I already knew). I just had to convince Ella to take a bottle now!
How easy is a Spectra breast pump to use?
I can’t speak to the other Spectra breast pumps, but the Spectra S2 is a dream to use. So if S2 is anything to judge by, I think you’d have a safe option with any Spectra breast pump.
Double pump feature
The Spectra S2 has a double pump function which is handy for expressing both breasts at the same time which helped me express quickly on my lunch breaks at work.
I found the pump was so effective that I could be finished expressing within 10-15 minutes. And I knew that I had replenished the entire supply my daughter was consuming that day.
Adjustable pump settings
This is probably my favourite feature of my Spectra breast pump.
You can adjust the strength of the suction and the speed of pumping during the pumping to mimic a baby feeding. For me, this helped letdown happen a LOT sooner with a breast pump once I learned which settings induced let-down.
Then I could weaken the suction and speed up the expressing once let-down had occurred, maximising the amount of milk I expressed. I could do this at any stage during the expression session.
I didn’t use this feature much, but it’s a handy feature to have if you need to express in the middle of the night.
Low-noise during pumping
For those of you who need a little privacy when expressing, the Spectra S2 is extremely quiet compared to other breast pumps I have used. The low noise makes it perfect during the middle of the night so you don’t wake your baby or partner up.
Again, I didn’t really use the breast pump at night, but I did appreciate the quiet when I had to express in the office.
Assembling the pump
Assembling the pump may be intimidating at first because there are a couple parts that look confusing (I’m looking at you backflow protector!)
But once you get your head around it, you can assemble it in less than 10 seconds.
I wouldn’t necessarily call this a gripe me with the product but with the process overall. Each separate part requires cleaning and drying after use. If you’re packing your pump in a hurry, it’s a MAJOR hassle if you forget one part.
But… being a double pump, you get two of each part so it just means that you can use the spare part and just express one breast at a time.
The potential to forget parts due to the dissembling and assembling process is the only real gripe I can think of with my spectra breast pump and it’s barely a gripe. Especially as the parts are required for the unique backflow protection that the Spectra S2 offers, so the benefits of having these parts far outweigh the minor gripe that centres around my own forgetfulness.
If I had my time again, I might have purchased the Spectra S1. It’s exactly like the S2 however it has a rechargeable battery rather than requiring a power supply.
However, in the 13 months of use, I can only think of one occasion where I desperately wished for a rechargeable battery.
What is the customer service like?
The Spectra team are amazing. I’ve never actually needed to use them for issues with my pump but when I purchased a brand new pump from someone who had never used it, I was assured by their Australia customer service team that the warranty was still valid.
I’ve had to purchase new duck valves for my bottles since the pump is going to get another thrashing when my second child arrives. But replacement parts are inexpensive for the amount of use I’ve had had from my pump.
I think I used my pump 5 days a week for 13 months, each about 2-3 times a day, so inexpensive replacement parts are fantastic.
Who is the Spectra S2 is a perfect fit for?
Any model of Spectra breast pump is perfect for working mums that don’t want to top up feeds with formula or other milks.
Or any mum that pumps exclusively.
If you’re more of a casual expresser, perhaps look into a cheaper spectra breast pump that doesn’t have as many features as the S1 or S2.
Would you recommend this product to a friend?
Over the last 3 years, I have recommended a Spectra breast pump to more people than I can count – especially on parenting group pages on Facebook.
I loaned my (sterilised) pump to a friend to try so she could decide if the investment was worth it.
As I write this, she’s already made her Spectra breast pump purchase after borrowing mine for a couple weeks.
I used a Medela (not sure which model) when Ella and I had to stay in the hospital when she was 6 weeks old before I had purchased my Spectra. I don’t understand the hype around Medela pumps after using my Spectra breast pump. I wish more hospitals would convert to using Spectra breast pumps because of how amazing they are, just to help women realise that breastfeeding doesn’t need to end just because you can’t feed your baby directly.
I know they say that pumping is not an indication of your supply, but I’ve never had anyone tell me they’ve hated a Spectra breast pump because they weren’t able to express enough.
Where can you buy a Spectra breast pump?
If you’re in Australia, you can buy directly from Spectra Baby Australia. There may also be a lactation consultant that is a Spectra stockist.
If you’re in America, you can also buy directly from Spectra Baby. The American website has a feature where it will advise if your Spectra breast pump is covered by your health insurance and how to contact your insurer for more information.
What accessories do you get with your Spectra breast pump?
The S2 model comes with:
- The pump unit (obviously…)
- 2x 24mm wide neck breast shield
- 2x bottles with slow flow teats
- 2x caps and discs to use as lids on your bottles
- 2x tubing to connect the electric pump to the back-flow protectors (…which connect to the breast shields, which connect to the bottle)
- 2x backflow protector to prevent milk going through the tubing into the pump unit.
- 2x valves which deposit the milk into the bottle.
- Power adaptor
Should you buy a Spectra breast pump?
YES YES YES! If you ever plan on expressing breastmilk, then you should consider a Spectra. You may not necessarily need the hospital-grade S2 model, but, after experiences with the brand as a whole, I cannot recommend them enough.