I’ve never heard of the Spectra brand until an old high school friend mentioned it. The brand is popular in Asia and Australia, and recently expanded to the North American market with Spectra Baby USA.
I was renting the Medela Symphony pump for $75/month, when I looked into the Spectra pumps. I was content with renting a pump, but when I discovered the hospital-grade S1 pump priced reasonably ($319USD), it made more sense for me to buy. There are a few features that are better on the Medela Symphony, but overall, the Spectra S1 pros outweigh the cons, and I am so happy with my decision.
- Extremely lightweight
- Comes with a rechargeable battery
- Has a timer
- Has a nightlight
- Can adjust speed and vacuum strength separately
- Louder than the Symphony
- Collection kit seems to be of lower quality and is clunkier than the Medela one (looks cheap and and doesn’t stand on its own well)
- Flange valves are difficult to remove
- Collection bottles are wide-neck (I have a lot of standard neck bottles) and nipples aren’t slow flow
- Doesn’t automatically switch from Stimulation to Expression mode
So how has the S1 saved my sanity? Instead of spending almost 2 hours of my day “chained” to one spot, I’m able to carry the pump to walk around (with my makeshift hands-free pumping bra aka bandeau with cutouts) and do other things. Plus, the built-in timer means there’s no need to watch the clock anymore. And the best part…my output increased! I’m not sure if it’s because I’m less stressed or if this pump is actually more efficient; regardless, I no longer dread my pumping sessions.
Edit: After a few weeks, I modified my setup so I was able to use the Spectra pump with Medela parts. The Medela collection bottles were just better for me. To do this, I cut the end (part that connects to the pump) of the Medela tubes and attached that directly to the Spectra pump. Note: This does change the system from being a closed one to open (like Medela), since there won’t be a barrier between the milk collection kit and the pump, so you would need to make sure that no moisture gets into the tubing.