We are getting a huge interest in the new model electric breast pump from Spectra Baby – the Spectra 9.
Now, the first and most obvious thing is this model’s great appearance – it is just a great-looking breast pump and not something that you’d need to worry about being seen on your kitchen bench or desk at work. Lightweight and slimline, it will easily fit into a bag. Let’s take a look at the features.
Yes! This is just such a great feature. The Spectra 9 will provide powerful, completely versatile and portable pumping for you with the option to either use mains power or just use the inbuilt rechargeable battery when you’re on the move. Either use the unit plugged in or unplug and express wherever you like using the inbuilt battery.
Okay, we don’t need to tell you this pump looks great, you can see that for yourself. But it’s also nice and portable and will just about slip inside your (decent sized) pocket.
The Spectra 9 comes with a digital display which will really help you understand where you’re at with your pumping. Take a look at the image at right – you can see that the cycle length and vaccuum strength are both displayed in bars – so it’s easy to see how high you have each setting, and remember for next time if need be. You can see that the battery life is also displayed – as well as the mode at top right – and this brings us to the next point!
Yes! This pump has a fully adjustable letdown mode! With the press of a button you can toggle between the massage mode to stimulate letdown and the normal mode for expressing milk. The massage mode has a shorter, lighter suction pattern, to simulate the quick, light suck of a baby when she first starts to feed. Once your milk starts to flow, toggle the mode back to normal and the suction will change to the stronger, slower pattern designed to maximise milk removal.
The pump’s intelligent memory will remember where you had each mode set for next time – so if you toggle from massage to normal mode, and then back again, the pump will remember how you had it set the first time.
Vaccuum strength and cycle length are adjustable in each mode.
Single AND double-sided expressing
It’s really easy to add an additional breast shield on to your kit – just connect the three way connector (shown at left) to the pump, and then attach the tubing to both breast shields.
Double sided expressing is a great way to cut your pumping time and is actually more effective towards stimulating milk supply. Pumping, or pumping one side & feeding your baby from the other increases the amount of prolactin (the hormone responsible for milk production) in the blood more than single-sided expressing does. It can be a little more fiddly though, so bear that in mind.
Backflow protection for Hygienic pumping
This little disc to the left is the filter for the Spectra 9. It simply clips in between breast shield and tubing, and completely prevents milk from flowing into the tubing and getting anywhere near the pump. Pumps with a closed system such as the Spectra 9 are more hygienic than pumps with an open system, which are vulnerable to mould and can be a method for virus transmission if used by multiple users. The closed system also means that your pump is safe from having its motor damaged when milk backflows into the motor, which can really reduce function.
Other information you need to know!
We know it’s tough choosing a breast pump, and many women will spend a long time reading reviews and comparison shopping. We can tell you that this is a great pump at a great price, but surely it has some cons? Well, compared to the Spectra DEW 350, it is noisier, and it has a shorter motor life – 800 hours vs 1500 hours from the Spectra DEW (which is a hospital grade pump designed for longterm frequent use). The pump uses a diaphragm method to create suction, as opposed to the Spectra DEW 350 which uses a piston.
We should also tell you that the Spectra 9 is super easy to assemble and clean – absolutely no fiddly bits and pieces to get lost, lose suction or be impossible to clean.
So it’s up to you to decide on whether you want the convenience of portablity & rechargeable battery – and the massage mode for letdown is something that some women just can’t do without. Have a read through the reviews below, kindly provided by customers – and please, always feel free to contact us if you have questions. Choosing the right pump is important!
Spectra Review by Lauren
I’ve never had much success with breastpumps. It doesn’t seem to matter what time of day I pump, before or after a feed, with my baby or not. I’ve used 3 different pumps in my breastfeeding time, 2 electric and one manual. I always let down (I get the pins and needles feeling), but my milk output when pumping is virtually non existent (and I do not have supply issues!). I will never forget being totally engorged one night when my little one decided to sleep for an extended period overnight and I was trying to express some milk (at 3am). My breast was totally full of milk, I had a very strong let down but only a few drops came out. I ended up hand expressing to relieve the engorgement. I should say here that my breasts have never, ever leaked milk. Perhaps this has something to do with it? No one has ever been able to say, but I’ve not worried because of my breastfeeding success. Hand expressing is a pain though (and messy!) so I was keen to try this new pump.
I had more success with the Spectra 9! Like another pump I have owned, you can adjust the suction strength on the Spectra, and the maximum suction is strong (I don’t know any technical numbers). What is unique for me, is the ability to be able to change the ‘cycle length’ or how quickly the pump completes the sucking action. I had the best results when I had the cycle length pretty quick (just like my feeders) and the suction near to the highest strength. This will be different for everyone, I imagine, but I was just so excited to see milk in the collection bottle. The ‘massage’ mode was successful in enabling my let down response.
The Spectra is easy to use if you are familiar with electric pumps. All the tubing, diaphragm and flange are easy to put together to use quickly. I love that the main part of the pump (which goes on the breast) doesn’t have little fiddly bits to take apart and clean. I also love that the machine part of the pump has a rechargeable battery! So it can be charged and then you can use it without need of a powerpoint and eliminates the need to buy batteries if you do need to use it cord free. It’s slightly noisier than my previous pump, but it’s not an obscene noise, so really not an issue for me.
Overall, I love it!
Spectra Review by Krista
The Spectra breast pump has excellent suction, easy to use parts, is comfortable to use and I would recommend it as the best personal breast pump I have ever used.
I express at least once a day as I am demand feeding and if my daughter is not hungry then milk can build up and cause engorgement so a good breast pump that will go the distance is essential.
The spectra worked as efficiently as any hospital grade pump I have used previously and am so glad to have had the chance to experience it. I just wish I had known about it with my first daughter with whom I hired a pump and purchased another brand which did not go the distance.
The valve to stop milk flow into the unit is a brilliant idea, which is lacking in other pumps, I have previously used the portable Medela Swing but once the milk had back flowed into the unit the suction was severely impaired not to mention the cleanliness of the unit.
The pump sound is quite loud for a small unit so I would not feel comfortable using it anywhere other than in the home, parents or feeding rooms as it would cause some looks if I did it in the car for example. It really does have the capability of a hospital style unit so unless expressing in unusual places is for you then this unit is fabulously portable, especially with the rechargeable in built battery.
The let down and adjustable suction enables adjustment depending on flow and let down reflex and I found the unit to be attractive overall.
Highly recommended for anyone who needs or wants to express breast milk.
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
Pros: Size, portability, rechargeable battery, back flow valve, adjustable let down and pumping levels, suction level, small number of parts
Cons: Pump volume.