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First Impressions of the Spectra S1

My first impressions of the Spectra S1 Double Electric Breast Pump.

image owned by @littlepumpling

A quick introduction about me...

For anyone new here, I have been exclusively pumping for 9 months (my entire postpartum journey). I was introduced to a breast pump by a midwife in hospital. She wanted me to use it every 3 hours for 15 minutes to get my milk to come in. The aim was for milk to appear so baby could have a taste and learn to latch but it didn't work out that way. Instead, baby was given expressed milk in a bottle, drank it happily and gained enough weight to be discharged. I've not looked back. This is something I choose to do and happily do for my child.

Why purchase another pump?

I have used various products, my main pump being the Medela Double Swing Flex. I have used this electric pump so much I have burnt out one, with the current one predictably awaiting the same fate. Time for a switch up.

Just to be clear, I am not aiming to say the Medela is bad. I'm more of the opinion that an exclusive pumper clocking over 2 hours of use a day for months on end puts it through it's paces. This model is designed for less use. It is perfect for 1 or 2 pump sessions a day not 8 or 10. Unless you have the funds to buy a replacement each time it dies.

Pumps that are designed to last usually have wording like 'hospital grade' included In their description. This means their motor has been tested to last 1500 approx hours. I had my eye on a Spectra S1 for multiple reasons; closed system, battery option and most importantly, a lot of recommendations from fellow exclusively pumpers. It also sits at an affordable price.

First Impressions

I received the Spectra a week or two ago. This pretty pastel blue bowling ball of a pump isn't as heavy as it looks. It sits comfortably next to me on the sofa and happily sits next to me on the dining chair. I really enjoy how I can move a bit more when pumping and I like the custom suction/speed settings. Admittedly, I was overwhelmed by the new system at first, I was unsure on how to clip the back flow discs together and fix the duckbills within the connector but once I did it a few times, I got the hang of it and the feeling went away.

At the time of ordering the pump, I also ordered some smaller yet compatible 19mm flanges from Nenesupply (an amazon brand). They were really affordable and fit much better than the standard sizes provided by spectra.


My first impressions were overall good. I liked what I saw and was excited to start using the pump. In the first few days of trialing the Spectra, I found myself wanting to keep my previous pump nearby. I wanted to keep the older one set up in case something with this one went wrong. I liked the comfort of knowing the older one was there if something went wrong. However, into the second week of using the Spectra, I have packed up my old Medela. I am really comfortable using the Spectra S1.

Things I like about the Spectra S1 double electric pump...

  • Rechargeable Battery

  • Quick Charge Time

  • Quiet Motor

  • Custom Settings

  • Suction performance and consistency

  • Nightlight

I am really happy with the purchase. The rechargeable battery has been useful for those nighttime sessions where I am too tired to sit in the dining room, instead I can pump in the living room, on the sofa, watching a TV show with my partner or I can prop myself up with loads of pillows and my iPad and relax in bed. This is extra easy when the battery charges really quickly too. (Editing ChloeTo be completely real with you, I used the pump before I started writing this article and in the time it has taken to write and edit it is already fully charged).

Something I noticed immediately with the first use was the quiet motor. I have used a number pumps from hospital supplied ARDO & Medela models to the affordable Bella Baby and all have been quite loud. I once heard someone describe the Bella as "...a bad drum and base track to your life" This is completely the opposite, I mean you can hear it but it is a lot quieter than others I've used which is a bonus.

I really enjoy the customisable settings. Remember, I'm coming from a place where previously I could only change the suction level and not anything else. The Spectra allows you to change the massage mode suction level. It also allows you to change the suction and speed whilst in collection mode. I found this great as I'm quite sensitive at the beginning of a session but grow to be very tolerant near the end of a session. I am able to benefit from both sensitive and high levels of the pump.

Lastly, a little positive is the night light. I've found it very useful for evening and early morning pumps. Simple and quite obvious to say but it is a positive so why not tell you?


I am really happy with the change but there are things I've noticed that are worth mentioning. They aren't deal breakers but definitely worth a mention.

  • Bottles easily fall over

  • Only one bottle holder

  • Prepare for changing duckbills regularly

  • No automatic massage switch over

After finishing my first pump, I placed the bottles on the table in front of me. I quickly realised that if the tubing is sitting a certain way the bottles will tip and milk will go everywhere. I luckily realised this before they fell and managed to grab them but I hadn't read this anywhere prior to buying the pump so want to pass this on. I hate spilling milk, it's the worst feeling, working hard to provide for your baby and rather feed it to them, you see it fall and spill all over the table to be wiped up by a cloth. Definitely cry over spilt milk.

Whilst talking about bottles falling over, it is something to mention there is only one bottle holder on the back of the pump. This is ideal if you single pump but it isn't perfect if you're a double pumper. Exclusive pumpers need a second holder please Spectra.

Another thing for exclusive pumpers to remember is that the duckbills (the little triangle shaped silicone things within the connectors) need to be changed regularly in order to keep performance high. It's not a huge expense just a regular one.

And lastly, I noticed that the massage mode doesn't automatically switch over to pump mode after 2 minutes. This isn't a deal breaker because I do love the flexibility but I have had a couple of sessions where I've been editing something so have not realised I'm still on massage mode 5 minutes into a session.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I'd say, I'm really pleased I purchased this pump. I can see why it is recommended by bloggers and so many fellow exclusive pumpers. It is consistent and adaptable. I have used a large variety of pumps and I'd say this is the best one so far.

I will happily commit to replacing the duckbills on a monthly/bi-monthly basis as it's far less wasteful in comparison to other membrane/connector replacements. They could make it better by making massage mode auto and add two bottle holders so milk is kept safe. That's not a huge ask and not a deal breaker for me.

I recommend this pump to any new exclusive pumper as the motor is built to last - it will last your entire journey be that one or more children's worth! In addition to longevity, it has a closed system which means milk doesn't ever reach the motor, this low risk means no chances of mould so you are able to use it again or sell it.

I hope this helps anyone thinking about buying a Spectra S1 :)




This article is an opinion piece which means the authors thoughts expressed in the article are not fact and may not be true for you.

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