Spectra S2 Review

*Disclaimer!  This post is alllllll about pumping and breast milk and being a mom.  Not your cup’o’tea?!  Skip this post, mmmmkay?!

Did I get your attention with this?!! Thanks, as always, Scoots for being so cooperative in my photo antics.

I have written a few posts (here and here) in the past about my ‘extreme pumping’ routine with Patrick and Rosie.  This really isn't a 'routine' post, because I'm basically doing the same routine as I detailed in these posts; however, I am instead writing up a review for my mama and soon-to-be mama friends who are looking for a breast pump.

With Patrick and Rosie I used a Medela Pump in Style Advanced (PISA)...and at the hospital I used the hospital grade Ameda.  It did the job and I had zero complaints.  I've never had a supply issue (actually quite the opposite -- I have an oversupply!) so I wasn't necessarily looking for anything different than what I had.  I actually have 3 Medela PISAs so I had a travel one, one I left at school, and one that I left at home.  It was a good system and worked very well for my year+ pumping adventure after Rosie was born.

Well, fast-forward to summer 2016 -- pregnant again with Annie and looking ahead to another breastfeeding/pumping adventure after she was hatched.  I kept hearing on these mommy groups on Facebook about this "Spectra" pump so I decided to do a bit of research...

This Spectra S2 looked awesome -- and at a great price!  It is marketed as a hospital grade pump but at an affordable price.  I went with the S2 over the S1 -- the only difference is that the S1 has a built in rechargeable battery, which I didn't need because I had a battery pack and car adapter that worked with it from my Medela that I could use with the Spectra if needed (and save me a good $70 on the different versions!).  I was sold, especially since I could buy these $8 adapters and be able to use all of my Medela parts and bottles with this pump as well!  Woot!

I am a seasoned pumper and I feel like I have a good grasp on what's a good pump and what's a better pump.  When I rely on something other than my child to empty the girls multiple times a day (again, cause of my oversupply!) I want it to be GOOD and EFFICIENT.  And I've found that with the Spectra!

You know how much I love lists 'round these parts, and I thought I'd make a list of all of my favorite things I love about the Spectra.  I should add that I don't hate my Medela PISA pumps; I just feel like the Spectra is a superior pump and does a better job than the Medela!

  • One thing I really REALLY liked about this Spectra over the Medela is that it's a closed system -- meaning the tubing never comes into contact with the actual flange and that means there's NEVER a chance of moisture or liquid getting in your tubing.  With the Medela PISAs I would have to change the tubing ALL OF THE TIME because of water getting inside and causing suction issues.
  • You can control the speed and suction intensity.  This.is.awesome.  With the Medela you can just control the suction intensity but not the speed -- there a set "slow" speed and "fast" speed that you can trigger by a button but that's it.  With the Spectra there is a digital display that gives you options for how you want to control the speed AND suction.  
  • Digital display is HUGE.  With the PISA there is no display, which may not sound like a huge deal but now having one on the Spectra I realize just how much I was missing with the Medela.   It is SO NICE to be able to keep tabs on how long I'm pumping for without having to worry about starting my phone timer OR remember what time I started pumping at.  I usually do the fast setting for 3 minutes then hit the let-down button and do my slow setting for another 6-8 minutes before I'm done.  It's so easy to do that and keep tabs on it with this pump!
  • It's got a light on it.  Again, this may not seem like a big deal but it is HUGE.  I pump a lot at night and early in the morning before it's light out and not having to turn the overhead big bright light on is a game-changer so I can see the display.
  • There are 9 ounce bottles for this pump!  Medela bottles max out at 8oz, and these have an extra ounce which may not seem like a big deal but it is for someone who frequently pumps that much in one sitting from one side!  That bigger bottle does make a difference.
  • It is SO GENTLE on the girls.  This goes back to my point about being able to control the suction and speed -- you can really customize your pumping experience to make sure it's the most comfortable on your boobies, and I never once have had sore or tender boobs like I did in the early days with my Medela.  If something feels too intense I can turn down the suction or speed to accommodate and make my girls happy. 
  • The suction is much stronger than the Medela.  This may sound like it's more "painful" but quite the opposite -- this pump really mimics your baby's suckling and gets that milk out!  I used my Medela the other day when we were out and about (which this incident triggered me to buy a second Spectra so I wouldn't have to use a Medela at school) and I got FOUR OUNCES LESS than I do at the same time with my Spectra!  The Medela didn't empty my girls like the Spectra does.
Okay!  So those are my favorite features of the Spectra S2 breast pump.  I am hands-down recommending it to all of my mama and soon-to-be mama friends cause it is just amazing.  Like I said earlier, the Medela is a good pump, but the Spectra is a better one :)

*If you're also interested, you can read my review here about the Spectra S2 vs. Spectra 9 Plus pump!

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