As a new breastfeeding mom, you will eventually reach a time when you will need a break from feeding. This is where a breast pump comes in.
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Breast pumps allow you to fill up bottles of your milk which you can store for later. They also help you relieve instances of engorgement and maintain your breast milk supply.
This ability to maintain your supply is useful if you are returning to work and are separated from your baby for a number of hours.
When you decide to start pumping is entirely up to you. Some moms will start as soon as their milk has come in, others will wait a few weeks and only start when the need arises.
Finding a breast pump that suits you is crucial to your breast-pumping journey. As is its maintenance to ensure the pump lasts as long as it can.
In this article, we will explore how to find the right pump for you and which parts will need replacing to keep your pump in tip-top condition.
What is a spectra pump?
A highly recommended brand is the Spectra Pump. Spectra provides double electric breast pumps that you can use to pump one or both breasts at the same time.
A couple of examples of products in their range include the Synergy Gold Dual Powered Electric Pump and the Spectra S9 Double Electric Portable.
The Synergy Gold Dual Powered Electric Pump is the most luxurious in their range. It boasts of using the most up-to-date pumping technology and allows mum to adjust the pump on each breast independently. You will find the latest price for the Synergy Gold Dual Powered Electric Pump here.
The Spectra S9 Double Electric Portable has been designed to enable mums to pump on the go. It is small, lightweight, and designed with a very quiet motor to not disturb your privacy whilst you are pumping.
Their range covers pumps that are portable as well as pumps that can be adjusted to each breast independently. Their range is designed so that you will find a pump that fits your needs.
Choosing the correct pump
With so many different pumps available on the market it’s hard to know which one will feel right for you. We’ve answered some of the top questions that circulate when looking for the perfect pump, in order to help you make a clearer decision.
Electric or manual?
Manual pumps require you to constantly pump the handle to create a vacuum that draws out your milk each time you pump and from each breast. So, whilst manual pumps are cheaper than electric you might find it to be quite hard work after a while. Electric pumps work on their own and are often quicker and more convenient.
Single or Double breast pump?
It has been proven that double expressing provides up to 18% more milk at a time than singularly expressing each breast. Mums who find they lead particularly busy lifestyles and those that have returned to work find a double pump to be more convenient. Whereas a single pump is perfect if you are only planning on expressing from time to time.
To buy new or second-hand?
Whilst buying a pump second-hand will drastically reduce its cost there is a safety risk involved. Unfortunately even with a deep clean mums cannot guarantee they have got all traces of breast milk out of all of the parts, particularly in the tubes and if the motor is unsealed.
It is also important to note that an older pump also may not work as effectively. If this happens then it may affect your milk supply because the pump isn’t strong enough to maintain the milk supply.
So it is always better to invest in a new, sturdy pump that will stand the test of time.
Spectra Pump Benefits
The range of Spectra pumps are some of the most popular pumps available on the market and for good reason too. The Spectra S1, which is arguably its most popular model, outranks other pumps for many reasons.
It is perfect for first-time mums as it comes with everything you will need to start pumping straight away.
Included in the price are two bottles, two tubes, and two sized flanges. It displays clear settings and has easy to use controls that allow you to adjust the speed and suction ability. It also has a rechargeable battery so you can pump on the move, making it perfect if you have other children to watch out for.
Buying Replacement Parts
In order to keep your pump in its best condition, you will need to replace some of its parts frequently. Below we have listed which parts you will need to replace and recommendations for where to get them from.
Duckbill Valves (Every 1 – 3 weeks)
A duckbill valve is a silicone check valve in your pump that is shaped like a duck’s beak giving it its name. The purpose of this valve is to stop milk from flowing backward into the machine and in doing so it reduces the risk of contamination and infection.
Whilst there are lots of options available it is recommended that you use the original Spectra brand of duckbill valve. Other, cheaper brands may not fit onto the machine properly and will therefore be ineffective in protecting against the risk of contamination.
Breast Shield (Every 6 months)
It is recommended that you replace your breast pump shields every 6 months to reduce the risk of contamination. But you might need to replace them earlier if you find the flanges that come with your pump do not fit your breasts correctly.
Having correctly fitted flanges is crucial to ensuring that you are making the most of your milk supply and often the ones that you are given with the pump aren’t the right fit. It is recommended that you measure your breasts before you begin shopping around for the perfect pump but if you think you need a different size then there are plenty of spare shields available to you.
The Spectra Premium Breast Shield with a wide neck in 24mm, is recommended by moms who have found their milk production has almost doubled since using it.
Backflow protector (Every 3 months)
The backflow protector creates a barrier between your pump’s tubing and its motor, protecting the motor from being exposed to any backflow of milk. In some brands of breast pumps, you will not need to replace the backflow protector but in Spectra pumps you will.
Whilst it is recommended that you replace the backflow protector every 3 months, if you express less than 3 times a day, you will only need to replace this part every 6 months.
Tubing (Every 3 – 6 months)
The tubing on your breast pump is one of the parts that cannot be washed or sterilized. This is because you cannot dry it out properly and therefore there is a risk that mold could build up. So instead you should look to replace it once it becomes discolored or warped from use.
Milk Collection Bottles (as needed)
As general wear and tear happens you may find your pump’s milk collection bottles become chipped or cracked or perhaps they look discolored over time. This will be a good time to replace them.
As with the duckbill valves, it is important that you buy Spectra’s own brand of milk collection bottles as these have been specifically designed to fit their own flanges.
It is important to note that these are sold solely as collection bottles and therefore do not come with teats. If you are planning on bottle feeding with these bottles, you will need to buy the teats separately.
Charger adapter (as needed)
As mentioned earlier in the article the majority of Spectra pumps have built-in rechargeable batteries so you do not have to be plugged into the mains when you pump but can do so on the move instead. In order to do so, you will need to make sure you have a working charger adapter for your pump.
It is recommended that you buy a spare in case anything were to happen to the one your machine comes with. These charger adapters are relatively cheap and will fit on more than one make of Spectra pump, but it is important that you do make sure the adapter you buy fits the pump you have.