Getting Started with your Spectra 9 Breast Pump

Getting Started with your Spectra 9 Breast Pump
If you've purchased the Spectra 9 plus breast pump, you're probably aware that it's one of the most lightweight, quiet and portable pumps on the market. Here's everything you need to know to get started with your Spectra S9 breast pump.

Sterilising your Spectra breast pump parts

Before you begin pumping it's important that you sterilise your Spectra breast pump parts. Sterilise all parts that come in contact with breastmilk. Do not sterlise the tubing. There are a few different sterilisation methods you can choose from, but one of the most popular methods is the boiling water method: You'll need to fill a large stock pot with enough water to completely cover your pump parts. Make sure all parts are completely disassembled prior to sterilising. Bring the water to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Then, remove from heat and using a pair of tongs, remove pump parts and set on a clean paper towel to air dry. Allow time to completely air dry prior to re-assembling parts.

Washing Spectra breast pump parts

After you use your Spectra breast pump, you'll need to wash your breast pump parts. Wash all parts that have come in contact with breast milk (you don't have to wash the backflow protectors unless they have milk or moisture in them). Do not wash the tubing. There are a few different methods for washing your Spectra breast pump parts. You can hand wash them in a basin of hot soapy water, and rinse them off in cool, clean water. Set to air dry on a clean paper towel, and allow time to completely air dry prior to assembling them.

Charging your Spectra 9 breast pump

When you charge your Spectra S9 breast pump the screen will illuminate and the battery icon will appear. It will take approximately 2.5 hours to fully charge, and you'll get about 2.5 hours of battery life out of it - depending on how you use it (if you pump at a higher setting, you might experience a decrease in battery life). You can use your Spectra 9 breast pump as normal while it's charging, too.

Your power adaptor will arrive shipped as two separate components. See this blog post for help assembling your power adaptor.

Assembling your shield kit

To begin pumping, assemble your shield kits and attach them to the tubing. Attach the tubing to the pump - if you're single-pumping, using only one tubing, make sure the unused air port is completely covered by the cap. Place the breastshield over your breast so that the nipple is centred within the flange. Make sure there are no air gaps between the breast and the breastshield - you may need to adjust your breast to ensure a good seal.

It's important that you're using the correct sized breastshield. Read this article for help with breastshield sizing.

Getting started with your Spectra 9

Press the power button to turn on your Spectra 9 plus breast pump. The pump will start in Expression Mode. You will need to press the wavy lines button to enter Massage Mode. The screen will display "Massage Mode." Massage mode is a fast cycle speed that mimics the fast, fluttering suckling that a baby does to stimulate milkflow. Start at a low vacuum setting and slowly increase by pressing the plus button. Make sure you never pump above your comfort level - doing so can cause injury to your nipples. If you feel a pulling or tugging sensation, turn the suction level down. Remain in massage mode until your milk starts flowing. Then, press the wavy lines button again to enter expression mode. The screen will display "Expression Mode." Expression Mode mimics the slower, paced suck-and-swallow pattern that a baby does to draw milk from the breast once letdown has occurred. You will notice that as you turn the vacuum level of your Spectra 9 breast pump up, the cycle speeds will get longer.

It's important to play around with the pump settings to find what works the best for you. You can try swapping into Massage Mode multiple times in a pumping session, or turning the vacuum level up and down periodically. It will take a few pumping sessions to get a handle on the settings that work best for you.

Replacement parts for the Spectra 9 breast pump

You'll need to plan on replacing your Spectra breast pump parts periodically throughout your pumping journey. The most common cause of reduction in suction & pumping performance is using old, worn out breast pump parts. You'll need to replace your silicone parts, such as valves and backflow protectors, most frequently because over time their elasticity wears down. Plan on replacing duck valves every 2 - 3 months, valve membranes (if you're using them) every 1 - 2 months, and backflow protectors every 3 - 6 months.

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