Newborns eat every two to three hours. Even if you plan to exclusively breastfeed, there may come a time when you need to be away from your baby longer than that. That’s where a breast pump comes in handy. Instead of slowly expressing the milk by hand, you can hook up the pump and temporarily turn yourself into a milk machine.
But not all pumps are created equal. Some, like Spectra Baby’s S1 and S2, are hospital-grade, quiet, comfortable, and easy to use. None of that is surprising when you realize that Spectra is a woman-owned company. Its products are designed by lactation consultants, nurses, and doctors who are also mothers.
We compared and contrasted two of the most popular breast pumps to help you know what Spectra breast pump to use.
- 1 Is the Spectra S1 or 2 better?
- 2 Features in common between the Spectra S1 and S2
- 3 Does it hurt to use a Spectra breast pump?
- 4 Do Spectra S1 and S2 have the same suction?
- 5 What is massage mode and how is it different from expression mode?
- 6 How long should you pump with Spectra S1?
- 7 Which Spectra breast pump is quiet enough to use while the baby is sleeping?
- 8 What other benefits do these breast pumps have?
- 9 How are the Spectra S1 and S2 different?
- 10 More about the rechargeable battery in the Spectra S1
- 11 Now, for the big question: Spectra S1 versus S2: Which breast pump is better?
Is the Spectra S1 or 2 better?
Whoa, there is no easy answer to this question until we reach the end of this article. At that point, it should be straightforward for you to decide which one you’ll get.
Each breast pump has pros and cons and they are designed to meet specific needs. Let’s take a closer look at their essential features.
Features in common between the Spectra S1 and S2
Although there are crucial differences between the pumps, let’s begin by looking at the similarities.
Closed system prevents contamination
Both of these breast pumps are closed system or closed pumps. This is excellent for your baby’s health. It means that the milk never enters the pump so it won’t be contaminated by a buildup of bacteria or mold.
It’s also good news for you as you won’t have to tear the pump apart for a deep cleaning after every use. The parts that come in contact with the milk can all be sterilized and replaced with minimal effort. Plus, once you’re done using the pump, you can sell it or give it away as there are no cross-contamination issues to worry about.
Single and double pump
Either pump can be attached to one or both breasts at a time. It can save a lot of time if you can pump both breasts at once, which is why we highly recommend double pump machines like the Spectra S1 and S2.
Does it hurt to use a Spectra breast pump?
It shouldn’t be painful to use a breast pump. Turn the suction level down and switch breast flanges to get the right fit.
Do Spectra S1 and S2 have the same suction?
Both Spectra breast pumps have the same motor. The maximum suction strength is 270mmHg so the pumping action is pretty fast but not painful.
However, you don’t have to pump at full strength all the time. As you may already know, sometimes milk flows faster than others. Happily, both the S1 and S2 offer personalized pump settings that allow you to adjust the motor’s power and speed.
There are twelve suction levels and three modes including pre-letdown, let-down, and massage. In other words, you can change the speed (cycles per minute) and the suction strength until everything’s perfectly comfortable.
It only takes a few moments to select what you want with the buttons and the digital display. There’s even a nightlight for convenience.
What is massage mode and how is it different from expression mode?
As you might guess, expression mode is for extracting the milk. Both expression and massage modes stimulate the nipple by simulating sucking to start the milk flow.
The massage mode is faster, with up to 70 cycles per minute. It sucks and releases the nipple. Then, the expression mode is slower, with 38 to 54 cycles per minute.
Use the let-down mode to massage the breasts for a couple of minutes before you switch to the other options.
Don’t worry, the pumps come with instructions plus there are video tutorials online. It only takes a few minutes to learn how to use the pumps effectively.
How long should you pump with Spectra S1?
When using an electric breast pump, pump until you feel empty. Most moms will take anywhere from fifteen minutes to half an hour to finish. You’ll probably need to do two or three letdowns during the course of the pumping session.
Which Spectra breast pump is quiet enough to use while the baby is sleeping?
Believe it or not, both of these breast pumps are quiet enough that they won’t interrupt nap time. Some moms pump at work and the motor is so soft, that no one is the wiser.
Specifically, the pump is rated for 45 dB so it’s silent enough to use in a library. It’s about the same noise level as a tabletop fan on the low setting.
What other benefits do these breast pumps have?
Both the Spectra S1 and S2 are BPA-free as are the accessories they provide with the pumps. Each comes with an accessory kit that includes tubes, flanges, duckbill valves, backflow protectors, and bottles.
What’s nice is that the pumps are compatible with accessories from many other brands, too. They work with bottles from Avent and MAM right out of the box. But you can also use Medela, Dr. Brown’s, and Kiinde with adapters.
Furthermore, the pump shuts down automatically if you haven’t used it after thirty minutes.
How are the Spectra S1 and S2 different?
You can tell the Spectra S1 breast pump from the S2 with only a glance. That’s because the S1 is blue and the S2 is pink.
Both pumps have a carrying handle on top, but the S1 weighs three pounds while the S2 is slightly less. Moreover, you can use both breast pumps anywhere in the world as they are compatible with worldwide voltage. The only thing you need is a plug adapter to fit different outlets in various countries.
However, the most important difference is that the S1 has a rechargeable battery and the S2 always needs to be plugged into the wall.
More about the rechargeable battery in the Spectra S1
The reason why the S1 weighs slightly more than the S2 is the rechargeable battery. This breast pump is portable although it comes with an AC adapter just like the other. You can use the S1 as a cordless electric breast pump or plug it into household electricity without using the battery.
It takes approximately three to four hours to fully charge the Spectra S1. But then it’s good for three hours of pumping.
You don’t have to plug it into the wall to charge it. You can also top it off with a car charger as it only requires 12 V.
What’s also nifty is that (at the time of writing) the TSA allows breast pumps on planes. You can pump while in flight and it doesn’t even count as a carry-on.
Now, for the big question: Spectra S1 versus S2: Which breast pump is better?
The answer is easier than you thought. All you need to do to choose between these two models is decide if you’d like a cordless breast pump or a corded one.
Could you benefit from a battery-powered breast pump for travel or home use? Or would you prefer to only pump breast milk where you have an electrical outlet like at home?
Other considerations might be cost and the fact that each pump only comes in a single color.
Here’s a quick overview of each breast pump.
Spectra – S1 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump
If you’re often on the move, it’s worth it to have a cordless breast pump like the S1. It doesn’t even need to charge overnight – three or four hours is long enough for three hours of pumping. If it takes a half hour or less each time you pump, you can get six sessions out of one charge. Plus, you can run the pump while it’s plugged in.
The S1 is a closed system that extracts the milk without the milk ever touching the motor. That makes it straightforward to clean and prevents cross-contamination.
It allows you to pump one or both breasts at the same time. You can control the speed and suction power, too. It doesn’t hurt. Instead, it’s very similar to having a baby nursing.
Happily, the pump comes with a complete kit of accessories to get you started and it’s compatible with many other brands of bottles and accessories.
Moms say the Spectra S1 is quieter than the Lactina and are happy that most insurance companies will pay for it. They like the timer especially if they have twins. They also appreciate how the massage mode helps with letdown and how the settings are saved for the next time.
Spectra Baby USA S2 Breast Pump
The S2 has the same features as the S1 except for one major difference: it must be plugged in as it has no battery. It also happens to be pink instead of blue and it weighs a few ounces less than the S1.
It comes with a full range of accessories including the power adapter and two of each necessity including bottles, backflow protectors, tubes, duckbill valves, and flanges. The flanges come in two different sizes to let you experiment with which one is most comfortable.
Moms love it because it’s quiet, easy to use, and comfortable. They recommend purchasing extra flanges and duck bills so that you always have what you need on hand.
Spectra – Premium Breast Milk Pump Accessory Kit with Baby Bottles
While we’re on the topic of accessories, here’s the official Spectra kit for both the S1 and S2 to replace all the original parts like tubes, flanges, backflow protectors, and duckbill valves. There is one of each item in the kit.
Everything should be replaced within three to six months depending on how often the pump is used.
All the parts are BPA-free and non-toxic. Everything except the tubing can be washed in warm soapy water.
Please note that if you double pump, you’ll need two sets, not just one.
Spectra – Breast Flange Replacement for Breast Milk Pump
Spectra sells flanges separately if you’d like to try different sizes. They come in small, medium, large, and extra-large. They are made from a soft material (thank goodness).
If you’re not sure where to start, you’ll need to measure your nipple and compare the measurements to the size chart. It might also help to chat with a lactation consultant. Remember that sometimes nipples swell while pumping so you might need a larger size.
Not to worry, this accessory is BPA-free and DEHP-free. It’s non-toxic and safe for contact with your baby’s milk. It can also be washed with warm soapy water.
Maymom Duckbill Valves for Spectra S1 Spectra S2
The nice thing about Spectra is that they allow for off-brand aftermarket accessories to be used. These duckbills fit the Spectra S1 and S2 as well as a couple of other brands of breast pumps.
What’s more, they are BPA-free and they meet FDA regulations for contact with food. They can be steamed or boiled to sterilize before use.
The manufacturer says that the duckbills are made to last longer than the original Spectra accessories. They also say they are easier to install and remove, especially since they have a thicker base.
How can you tell when it’s time to replace duckbill valves? Mothers say that you can tell because they won’t have the same amount of suction as they did when they were new.
|Spectra S1 versus S2: Which breast pump is better?||Highlights|
|Spectra S1 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump||
|Spectra Baby USA S2 Breast Pump||
|Spectra - Premium Breast Milk Pump Accessory Kit with Baby Bottles||
|Spectra - Breast Flange Replacement for Breast Milk Pump||
|Maymom Duckbill Valves for Spectra S1 Spectra S2||