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Spectra Breast Pump: How to Use It In 8 Easy Steps

Spectra Breast Pump How to Use It In 8 Easy Steps

Pumping breast milk is certainly one of the most crucial tasks you have to deal with — and having a reliable breast pump can make your life much easier! 

The Spectra S1 and S2 are arguably the best breast pumps you can find today. It’s affordable and costs no more than Php 15,000, compared to other pumps that can go beyond Php 20,000. 

Today, I will share eight easy steps in using a Spectra breast pump properly — as well as some extra information you should know about it, such as:

  • The main differences between the S1 and S2 are the size and batteries
  • The parts of a breast pump
  • How to double pump with a Spectra
  • How to power pump with a Spectra

8 Steps in Using a Spectra Breast Pump 

8 Steps in Using a Spectra Breast Pump

Straight out of the box, the S1 and S2 breast pumps look intimidating because they have a lot of different components.

Fortunately, I found that assembling the pump is easier than expected!

Step 1: Assemble The Backflow Protector On The Spectra S1/S2 Pump

The backflow protector is like the gatekeeper of your breast milk. It ensures the breast milk remains fresh and pure, free of outside contaminants. 

Not just that, but this essential component prevents breast milk from getting into the motor. Because of this, your pump can keep running efficiently for a long time. 

Step 2: Connect The Tubing To The Spectra S1/S2 Pump

Remember to attach the tubing to the pump. The tubing is where milk travels, so imagine what disaster can occur without it. 

Parents must always check the tubing before pumping since it often tends to get loose and cause leakage. 

You wouldn’t want to spend more time cleaning than pumping, right? 

The S1 and S2 pumps typically come with two tubes, depending if you want to single or double pump. 

Step 3: Connect The Other End Of The Tubing To The Backflow Protector

There are two ends to the tubing. The first is connected to the pump, which we discussed in Step 2. Meanwhile, the second is attached to the backflow protector. 

Both the pump and backflow protector have visible markings on where the tubing should go. 

Once the tubings are connected, make sure they are securely in place. You can gently tug on the tubings to ensure they won’t fall loose just because of a slight nudge. 

Step 4: Assemble The Breast Shield, Duckbill Valve, and Bottle

This step might be tricky for some, but it’s fairly simple. All you have to do is take the breast shield, duckbill valve, and bottle together and start assembling them.

The design of both the S1 and S2 breast is intuitive. You’ll know where each part goes without too many instructions. 

Just be sure to twist and secure each of the parts to each other so you don’t experience any leakage later on.

Step 5: Connect The Spectra Breast Shield To the Backflow Protector

Carefully connect the breast shield and backflow protector, ensuring the backflow protector’s tubing doesn’t come off. Once done, you’re ready to power on your breast pump! 

You can play around with the settings of your breast pump and test the pressure and pump settings without using it yet. 

This should give you an idea of what to expect when it’s finally time to use the pump. 

Step 6: Start Pumping In Let Down Mode With Cycle 70

Before you get over-excited, I highly recommend starting with a low setting first. 

Start with level 1 at cycle 70 and slowly up to level 5. 

There’s no pressure to reach level 5 on your first try. What’s important is you stay comfortable throughout the process and pump a steady supply of milk regardless of the setting. 

While waiting for the milk to flow, sit back and relax.

Step 7: After Milk Starts Flowing, Switch to Expression Mode

I’ve heard many stories from my friends about having difficulty pumping. But they found a lot of success with the help of different suction levels and breast pump settings. 

Once you notice a steady and continuous milk flow, it’s time to switch to expression mode and crank up the suction levels. 

Use this opportunity to collect as much milk as your body will allow. 

I’m sure some of you might feel frustrated with the outcome of your flow but don’t worry. It can take some time, especially if you’re a first-time mom.

Step 8: Continue Pumping for 15 to 25 Minutes Until Empty

Once you’ve assembled all components, it’s time to put it to the test and start pumping! The average time it takes to pump is 15 to 25 minutes. 

Some parents would continue pumping until the milk stops flowing. As much as possible, most moms would try to get the most out of their flow and preserve breast milk for later use.

Play around with the different suction levels and find one you’re comfortable using. Remember, the higher the suction, the more milk you can pump.

What’s the Difference Between a Spectra S1 and Spectra S2? 

What’s the Difference Between a Spectra S1 and Spectra S2

Both the S1 and S2 are two reliable breast pumps worth your time and money. Some of my friends own the S1 version, while others have the S2. 

How to use the Spectra S1 breast pump is the same with the S2. The main difference I saw is in terms of battery and size. 

The S1 breast pump sports rechargeable batteries. You don’t have to worry about having a steady stock of batteries each time! Not to mention how much waste you’ll have to make. 

On the other hand, the S2 breast pump is battery-operated, which may be a good thing for some users. Rest assured, this pump’s battery pack is powerful enough to give you hours on end of use

Generally, both S1 and S2 come in a portable and compact size. 

Between the two, I’d have to hand it to the S2 for being the smaller one. You can easily fit this in your baby diaper bag. 

What Are the Different Parts of a Breast Pump?

What Are the Different Parts of a Breast Pump

After tinkering with the box and checking out the different parts of the breast pump, you more or less have an idea of what they are. 

But to ensure we’re all on the same page, I’ve listed what each breast pump part is for:

Flanges

The flange is the part of the pump that looks like a funnel. It has a cone shape, which can fit over your breast to funnel milk! 

Ideally, you should find the right funnel size for you. This ensures you have a tight vacuum seal while pumping milk and that it doesn’t leak everywhere. 

Flanges are typically made of BPA or phthalate-free silicone or plastic, so you don’t have to worry about irritating your skin after long hours of use. 

Duckbill Valves

I first heard of duckbill valves with the S1 and S2 breast pump. I didn’t think much of them except that this component does look like a duck. 

I was happy to discover that duckbill valves are responsible for the suction. It’s important to ensure you can get your breast milk flowing and have a steady flow later. 

Through time, duckbill valves tend to go bad. A sign of this is when the suctioning power isn’t as good as before, and it no longer provides a vacuum-tight seal. 

Once you notice this, it’s time to replace the valves immediately.

Backflow Protectors

Backflow protectors are an essential component in any breast pump. They come in different forms and sizes, but all share the same goal: to always keep breast milk sanitary. 

It ensures your breast milk isn’t contaminated. This makes for long-lasting milk your baby can enjoy! 

Plus, you don’t have to worry about wasting all the milk you’ve produced after several hours of pumping. Just be sure to replace the protectors regularly if they can be replaced.

Tubing

Breast pumps already come with tubings unless you choose a wireless pump. The beauty of wireless pumps is you don’t have to worry about any tubes getting tangled. 

But for wired ones, you have to ensure the tubes remain secure and tight in their place. Luckily, you can find a lot of 3rd party tubes out there if you’re not satisfied with the ones that come with your product.

Bottles

Need I say more about the bottles on breast pumps? Although they look simple, they’re also vital for any breast pump contraption. 

The bottle is where the breast milk goes while you’re pumping. Attach the nipple cover when you’re done pumping, and feed your baby instantly! It’ll make your life a lot easier. 

Bottles come in different sizes. Generally, most pumps have an average 6 to 8 oz size — perfect to satiate your baby’s hungry stomach. If you want a bigger capacity, you’ll be able to find many options out there too.

How to Double Pump With a Spectra

How to Double Pump With a Spectra

Is there a difference between single and double pumping? Not really! You follow the same procedure above, so you don’t have to worry about missing an important step. 

Double pumping simply means you’ll pump milk from both breasts instead of one at a time. You’ll be able to gather and store milk and have a steady supply whenever your baby is hungry. 

You don’t have to worry about buying extra gadgets either, especially if you buy a product that already comes in double. 

Double pumping can help boost milk production. It’s ideal for first-time moms, especially those who can’t have a steady flow of milk. 

How to Power Pump With a Spectra

How to Power Pump With a Spectra

If you’re a pumping mother, I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “power pumping.” 

Power pumping is one of the best-kept secrets of many lactating mothers. If you’ve ever wondered how they can produce a large and steady flow of milk, it’s all thanks to this. 

It’s one of the best ways to naturally increase your milk supply, something first-time mothers need help with. 

I got curious when I first heard of this, especially since I’m worried I might not have a steady milk flow. 

Here are some helpful tips to help you power pump for the first time:

Tip 1: Plan a Power Pump Session

Keep in mind that power pumping can take up to an hour long. I highly recommend you find a good time during the day to do this. 

It may be physically and emotionally draining for some, so you’ll need time to recover. 

Tip 2: Power Pump for 20 Minutes

For the first 20 minutes of your session, start power pumping. 

Press the letdown button on the controls, and wait until you have a letdown. Switch to expression mode and find a comfortable setting to use. 

Tip 3: Take Frequent Rests

Don’t forget to take a break every pumping session. A ten-minute break should be enough, but you can take longer if necessary. 

Listen to your body and start pumping again after the break.

Tip 4: Be Consistent

The only way for your power-pumping session to be successful is by staying consistent. My doctors advised me to power pump at least twice daily and for a week.

As painful as that might sound, I know it to be the best for my future baby.

How to Check the Hours on a Spectra Pump

How to Check the Hours on a Spectra Pump

I was so surprised when I learned you could check how many hours your Spectra pump has been running. It’s a helpful way of knowing whether it’s time to replace your breast pump. 

Here’s the sequence of the buttons you should press to know how many hours have been used:

  • Power on
  • Massage 
  • Cycle +
  • Vacuum –
  • Cycle –
  • Vacuum +
  • Massage mode

The number of hours is shown in the middle, which is pretty easy to spot. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Before I leave with my parting words, there are several questions I’d like to answer. This should help you understand how to enjoy your Spectra pump better and get the most out of the experience. 

What Does Cycle Mean on the Spectra?

Cycle is one of the most important concepts you must learn when using a breast pump. It simulates a baby’s sucking motion to encourage milk flow. 

Generally, the S1 and S2 breast pumps have six cycles: 38, 42, 46, 50, 54, and 70. Each number represents the number of cycles that can happen in a minute. 

For mothers having a hard time with a steady flow, starting with cycle 70 will be a good idea. 

Be sure to explore the different cycles and check which ones you find comfortable and which results in more milk. It may take a few tries, so just be patient with it.

How Long Should You Pump With a Spectra?

Pumping using a Spectra breast pump could take as long as 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your milk flow. 

Based on what my friends have shared, it took them at least 30 minutes to pump on their first try. 

Regardless of how long you plan to pump, add an extra five minutes, even if you’re already empty. 

This should signal your body to produce more milk, so you won’t have a hard time pumping in the future.

Can You Pump Into Bags With a Spectra?

Yes, pumping into bags is possible even with a Spectra. Some find this more convenient, especially in terms of storage. 

The pumps have adapters, so you can easily attach a storage bag. You can even find third-party bags providing more storage capacity than the standard ones. 

Regardless of your bag, ensure it’s puncture-proof and provides good storage. 

Conclusion 

If you bought or got gifted a Spectra S1 or S2 breast pump, I’m sure you’ll find everything I’ve shared above useful. 

Thanks to this how-to-use Spectra breast pump article, you’ve got nothing to worry about. 

You won’t have difficulty finding your way around this breast pump, and no one will notice you’re new at it.

I also have a list of the best hands-free breast pumps for all the busy moms out there!

Josie Mariano
Josie Mariano

Hello, my name is Josie Mariano, and I’m proud to say I’m a soon-to-be mom.
Although my partner and I are still waiting for our firstborn to arrive, we’re already doing whatever it takes to prepare for our baby’s needs.
I’ve been joining a lot of parenting forums and asking my doctors for advice on how to prepare for my baby. They’ve all been very informative and I was able to spot the areas I still need to work on.
At the same time, I also rely on my mom for tips on what to do during my pregnancy journey.
With everything that I’ve learned so far, I’d like to share these experiences to fellow parents and soon-to-be parents!