Hi! My name is Georgie. I know breast pump comparisons and as much info as possible comparing one breast pump to another is super helpful when you are choosing which breast pump to buy. This is the first in a series of blog posts where I will road test the Spectra range of breast pumps and hopefully help you make your choice.
Here's a little about me. I am an exclusively expressing mum to an amazing almost-two-year-old little person, who never latched correctly at birth. To cut a long story short, I took to exclusively expressing for him.
Exclusively pumping can be a hard gig! Exclusively expressing for two years is one of the toughest things I have ever done, and I lived a very full life prior to becoming a mummy at 41 years old. After two years of pumping, your hormones change, achieving a let down is more difficult, it takes longer to drain your breasts empty, and your supply doesn't need a reason to take a dip. It's not only a tough experience physically, but it can be tough emotionally too, as you can become consumed with your supply - particularly if (like me) you have an expressing goal you were wanting to achieve or if your baby really relies on your milk.
So - road testing a breast pump at this stage of expressing is a true test of the pump's abilities and value. None of the sneaky tricks to boost supply and keep your milk flowing easily work for me anymore, like they did when pumping for a younger baby. Now it's all about having a great pump, and my expressing schedule.
Breast pump comparison #1 - Spectra Dew 350.
I am going to be honest here. Prior to receiving this pump, I didn't really understand why someone would choose the Spectra Dew 350 over Spectra's other hospital grade breast pumps - I didn't have high hopes for it, because I was a huge fan of the let down mode featured on the Spectra S2 and other Spectra models.
I am thrilled to say, I was remarkably surprised! Of all the breast pump comparisons I have done, the Dew 350 has actually turned out to be one of my favourite pumps!.
The Dew 350 has an excellent vacuum strength up to 350 mmHg - in fact, it has the strongest vacuum strength of all the Spectra breast pumps. I would have loved to have used this pump when I was expressing back in the early days, when my son was new. Even though the vacuum strength is super powerful, I still found it quite gentle on my nipple, which is important to all of us.
You can adjust the vacuum strength with the dial, so I would recommend starting with a lower vacuum and increasing gradually. I have quite dense breasts with less fatty tissue than a lot of women making it harder for milk to drain, so I tend not to drain easily without good vacuum strength, and massaging/compressing. The Dew 350 easily did the job for me, and I have used various pumps before that have not.
This is a great, no-nonsense pump, and will get the job done for sure. It will definitely help establish and build your supply, and it is a pump that can be used by more than one user, being hospital grade. This makes it a great choice for a company looking to supply a pump for mums to express while at work, away from their baby.
The sturdiness of the Dew 350 being hospital grade also makes it a great pump for mums who plan on having more children, and needing a pump that's going to last for a few babies, or rely on a pump to feed their babies - like an exclusively expressing mum.
For a hospital grade pump, it was fairly quiet, and as a person who can become irritated by noise, this really worked for me.
Downsides to the Spectra Dew 350
There are a few downsides. The Dew 350 does not have a letdown mode, which can be challenging for some mums as their baby gets a little older. Having said that, my letdowns do not happen very easily and yet I still managed to have letdowns with this pump, and produced great amounts of milk.
The Dew 350 does not have a variation in cycle strength, and that is something I like having control over, as I generally like a faster cycle whilst expressing. Many of the mums I chat with seem to like a slower cycle speed than I do, so that might not be a concern for most of you.
The final down side, which can be a little restricting, is that you need to be plugged into a power source to use this pump. Not a big deal really, as most hospital grade pumps require this. However if you are needing portability as well as a hospital grade breast pump, you might want to check out the Spectra S1.
My final take on the Spectra Dew 350
I felt a little foolish for dismissing the Dew 350 initially, as it truly is a great pump. Excellent for mums with dense breasts, as it will help extract that milk a little more easily than other pumps. It is also excellent for new mums wanting to build their supply, and maintain it over a long period of time. This would be one of my favourite pumps to use and recommend. If you're serious about expressing, this is one of the best pumps you can get.
Stay tuned for more breast pump comparisons!
Georgie Elle Mummy to Sebastian, Spectra Customer Service & Exclusive Expresser