Friday, December 11

Product Review - Breast Pumps - Spectra S2 and M1, Medela Harmony

Breast pumping has been a major part of my life for the last 7 months and hopefully for another 5 months as I strive to exclusively feed breast milk to my baby for the recommended first year. As you can expect, I have many opinions on many things and breast pumps is now one of those things.


My baby is 7 months old. Supplemented with formula in the first 5 weeks then exclusively on breast milk ever since. I exclusively pumped until week 8 when I re-introduced nursing. Now I pump 5 times a day and nurse twice. On weekends, I exclusively nurse. He drinks 32-35 oz of milk a day, 4.5 oz at a time. He eats about 3-4 oz of solids, twice a day.

Here's a video I made to show the three pumps I use. I am very impressed with the Spectra line of products. Thanks for sticking with me through these long videos. I'm working on saying less but I find that to thoroughly review the entire product, I feel like I need to cover so much information. At least this is an improvement from my last 10 minute video on bottles.

*Links are affiliate links*

Photo from Spectra - annotations by me
This pump was available through my health insurance. It retails on Amazon for $114. It is a hospital grade pump and has lasted me for 7 months and counting through heavy use in the first few months (8 times a day at 15 minutes each session) and currently used once daily. It runs on wall plug in only. Be sure to play around with the cycle speeds and vacuum strengths to your comfort. I thought it was uncomfortable at first until I learned to adjust the vacuum strength and cycle speeds and now I think its very gentle. I get the best let down at a cycle speed of 70 with a vacuum strength of L03. I read that hospital grade pumps need to run at a cycle speed of at least 60 to mimic a baby. The S2 goes up to 70.

This pump comes with two flanges for double pumping but you can close one off to do one sided pumping.
Weight: 3.3 lbs.

Photo from Spectra, labels by me
The M1 is a portable version and runs on either a wall plug in or battery. I find that it can run straight for about 30 minutes, or I can pump 2-3 times of 15 minutes each on one charge. It is a bit weaker than the S2. To get the same amount of milk, I turn up the cycle speed and suction which puts more pressure on my breasts but its not too bad. I use this 4 times a day, 15 minutes each, at work. It is louder than the S2 but still nothing too bad. This pump comes with one flange and you can buy a second one from the Spectra website for double pumping.
Weight: 1.5 lbs

Medela Harmony
This is a manual, single sided hand pump. It works really well as an emergency pump. When I came home from the hospital engorged and with swollen nipples, I used this pump for a gentler suction and an ease into what would become my exclusive pumping journey for a few weeks. Some people have sensitive nipples and can't tolerate even the lowest levels on electric pumps, then I think the Harmony is a good option for them. I say any bit of breast milk you can feed your baby is still better than none. The Medela Harmony is a good price/value for this purpose.

Converter kit for using the Medela collection bottles and flange with the S2 or M1
The bottles for the Spectra pumps can be loose so I prefer to pump with Medela bottles. There are tubing attachments sold for making the Medela flanges compatible with the Spectra. I can't find the exact link to what I have but here are two similar options. It's the yellow tube part that's most important. There's also a way to hack the Medela flange to fit the Spectra. I personally don't want to do this because I don't want to cut the hose.

Hands Free Pumping Bra
Do yourself a favor and get a hands-free pumping bra. It is so worth it. I use the Simple Wishes one in black, XS. Sizes are adjustable because your breasts will change sizes as the months go by. Don't buy it too large, you can adjust up but there's a limit to how small you can make a larger bra. You want the flanges to be held securely to your breasts.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for share this article, it very useful for me.
    I look forward to your new article.
    best breast pumps reviews



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