These two pumps are virtually the same aside from the fact that the S2 has an internal battery so it can be used without an A/C adapter while the S1 requires the A/C adapter to function (there are add-on pieces that can be purchased to allow the S1 to function with a battery pack but that would not be included). The following items are included in the box with the Spectra breast pump; tubing, 2 backflow protectors, 4 flanges in two sizes (24 mm and 28mm), 2 duckbill valves, and 2 bottles. It’s recommended to try out the 24mm flange first to see if that works well, then if need be, you can adjust up or down.
The Spectra pumps are considered “closed system” pumps. This means no milk can flow back into the pump’s motor because the backflow protector acts as a barrier to that process. It is important that the backflow protector and the duckbill valve are in place very securely so that the suction of the pump functions as designed.
To begin pumping, apply the flange to your breast and press the power button; directly above this button you will see a button with waves on it, this is the “letdown” button. Immediately upon turning the machine on, you should press this “letdown” button. On the display screen, you will see a cycle speed of 70 which indicates that there are 70 sucks per minute. You’ll also note a vacuum (suction strength) level ranging from 1 through 5. 4 or 5 is a great suction level if that is comfortable, if that is not comfortable, please check with your lactation consultant to be sure you’re using the right flange size and that there isn’t significant nipple trauma.
You’ll stay in massage (letdown) mode for about a minute and a half to two minutes until you notice milk beginning to steadily spray out. At that time, push the wavy massage button again and you’ll be in expression mode; this mode has cycles that range from 38 up to 56, indicating sucks per minute. A faster suck is usually more comfortable; it is recommended to start at 46 and then find what is comfortable from there. In this mode, a suction at level 7 or 8 should be a strong enough suction to help you maintain a good supply while you’re away from your baby. If you can get the suction higher and remain comfortable, that’s fine too of course but 7-9 is a perfectly acceptable range if that’s most comfortable.
There is a “lightbulb” button on your pump that will turn on the pump’s light which is helpful if you’re pumping in the dark, at night for instance, and you don’t want to have to turn on overhead lights to see the pump’s display. A basic pump routine looks like this: start off in massage mode, switch into expression mode, then when the milk slows down, go back to massage mode which should trigger another letdown and yield more milk. The pump does turn off automatically at 30 minutes. The goal is not to spend a full 30 minutes pumping but rather to get the most milk possible in a reasonable amount of time so you don’t feel chained to your pump all day. 15-20 minutes should be plenty of time, some of you may find that even a shorter duration works well.