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How to Choose the right Breast Pump for you

How breastfeeding works: oxytocin triggers milk production.

Working out which breast pump you should buy can be confusing, and it’s important to get it right. Here’s a guide everything you need to think about to choose the right breast pump.

What to consider when choosing your breast pump

Why do you need a breast pump? Is it because of a supply or attachment issue, because you’re going back to work, or just so you can take a break from time to time?

  • Frequency – how often will you need to pump? Some pumps are more heavy duty than others and designed for heavier use.
  • Portability – do you need features like a rechargeable battery so you can pump on the go, or will you be mainly pumping in one place?
  • Cost – how much are you wanting to spend?
  • Your personal situation  – how long have you been pumping and how old is your baby? These things can affect how your body responds to a breast pump.

Once you have a good idea about what you need from your breast pump, then you can decide which features you need and work out which pump is best for you.

Your quick guide to the Spectra breast pumps

Spectra S2

The Spectra S2 is a hospital grade pump, which means it’s capable of supporting supply, can safely be used by multiple users, and has a long motor life. It’s designed as a workhorse, and can sit in a hospital ward and be used many times a day. You can use this pump to exclusively express, it can be used as a double pump and most women find they can express efficiently and quickly with it. Even though it’s such a strong pump, it’s still gentle on the body and it is lovely and quiet, which is important to many women.

spectra s2 hospital grade breast pump with double breastshield set

The Spectra S2 is the most efficient pump and tends to be the all-round favourite. The presence of the unique let down mode – a light, fast method of pumping designed to encourage your milk to flow – will help you pump effectively even if your baby is older and your body becomes conditioned to pumping. The Spectra S2 must be connected to mains, so if you’re after a portable pump, consider the Spectra S1 or the Spectra 9+.
Pros

  • Efficient
  • Supports supply
  • Suitable for heavy use
  • Double pumping
  • Very quiet
  • Let down mode to encourage milk flow
  • Control cycle speed independently of suction strength for greater control.

Cons

  • Needs to be plugged in to mains (not portable)
  • Larger size – 2 kg.

Spectra S1

The Spectra S1 is almost identical to the Spectra S2 and differs only in that it has a built in rechargeable battery. This is really handy for mums who travel a lot, or who are wanting to pump at work and may not readily have access to power.


Pros

  • Efficient
  • Supports supply
  • Suitable for heavy use
  • Double pumping
  • Very quiet
  • Let down mode to encourage milk flow
  • Control cycle speed independently of suction strength for greater control
  • Inbuilt rechargeable battery so very portable for a hospital grade pump.

Cons

  • Larger size – 2 kg.

Spectra 9+

The Spectra 9+  is designed to fulfil different needs in the breastfeeding mum. It is lightweight and portable, and it has an inbuilt rechargeable battery so there are no restrictions at all on where you pump.

The Spectra 9+ has a gentle massaging mode which stimulates letdown (the start of milk flow) and then swaps to a stronger and slower expression mode, which most effectively draws out the milk. Users can adjust the strength of the suction in both modes. You can swap back and forth between modes at the touch of a button, and for women who struggle to get a letdown when pumping, this can make all the difference.

Compared with the Spectra S2 and the Dew 350, the Spectra 9+ has a shorter motor life and may not last as long with frequent use. You are also not able to vary the cycle speed independently to the suction strength – the stronger the suction, the slower the cycle speed.
Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Completely portable (with inbuilt rechargeable battery)
  • Has a letdown mode
  • Double pumping

Cons

  • Smaller motor so will not give us high performance as hospital grade pumps like S2 or S1
  • Less adjustable than the Spectra S2.

Spectra Dew 350

The Spectra Dew 350 is also a hospital grade pump, and is the most powerful pump in the Spectra range. It is really simple to use, and is great for new mums needing to establish or build their milk supply. The Dew 350 has only one cycle speed, but the suction strength can be varied to a level comfortable for you.

We find that for a majority of women, this is a highly efficient pump. However, if you have an older baby, have been using a pump with 2 phase mode (letdown mode) or have been pumping for a long time, then you may need a pump with a letdown mode. This is because the body becomes conditioned to the letdown mode. If this sounds like you, then consider the Spectra S2 – ask us for help if you aren’t sure.
Pros

  • Efficient
  • Supports supply
  • Suitable for heavy use
  • Double pumping
  • Very quiet.

Cons

  • Needs to be plugged in to mains (not portable)
  • Doesn’t have a letdown mode which is essential for some women
  • No ability to adjust cycle speed which is essential for some women
  • Larger size – 2kg.

Spectra Handy Plus

A manual breast pump is great if you just want a pump for occasional use, such as going to the gym a couple of times a week or taking a break to see a movie. We know from talking to women that most women will find the manual pump annoying if used frequently – but it is a cheap option if you just want a pump on hand for now and then.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Laborious
  • Can be time-consuming
  • Not suitable for women who need to pump a lot.

Let us know if you need help choosing the right Spectra breast pump

Still confused? Don’t worry we’re used to it! Just get in touch and we’ll be very happy to help you work out which breast pump is right for your situation and budget. Contact us or pop through to Facebook messenger at the button below and we’ll get right back to you.

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