Spectra S1 Breast Pump: a Real Mama's Honest Review

Spectra Breast Pump Nursing Tank top Pumping Mom Nursery Baby gear

Recently, I’ve gotten a TON of questions about which breast pump I used and what made me “love” it so much. I say “love” because, while I did not LOVE pumping, I did love my pump for making something I did not love to do a little more enjoyable! (P.S. I don't know who needs to hear this, but pumping IS breastfeeding and it was HARDER than nursing for me!)

First of all, let me recommend to utilize your insurance to get your breast pump. The Affordable Care Act requires most health insurance plans to cover breastfeeding support and supplies, which includes pumps! There are so many websites that will do the legwork for you to check with your insurance on which pumps your plan covers. Most plans cover the big names that you probably have already heard of (like Spectra, Medela, Lansinoh, etc.) and you’ll get a brand new pump of your choice for free, shipped right to your front door! My experience was SUPER easy. My OB gave me a breast pump prescription form with the website to order from. I picked out the one I wanted (along with a BUNCH of other amazing pumping goodies that were included) and it magically appeared on my door step one day! (And, by magically, I mean the UPS fairy dropped it off haha.)

 After an obnoxious amount of research, I chose the Spectra S1 pump (the blue one). I was super torn between a Medela pump and a Spectra pump, both so widely used and love by many pumping mamas. After LOTS of reading and watching LOTS of YouTube videos, here are all the reasons why I chose, and ultimately “loved,” the Spectra S1:

  • Hospital grade pump
  • Built-in rechargeable battery and AC adapter, meaning you won’t be attached to a wall because you need an outlet or have to worry about buying/replacing batteries. This allows you to pump anywhere or be mobile while pumping. For busy mamas, this is KEY. It also holds a charge for so long that I barely ever had to charge it!
  • Powerful pump performance, with various settings and a great letdown feature that very closely mimics baby!
  • Closed system pump – aka it has a barrier between the motor and the milk collection kit that keeps the milk from entering the tubing. In contrast, an open system pump lacks a barrier and can allow some milk particles to enter the tubing. Tubing is basically impossible to clean, so having milk leak into tubing was a HARD PASS for me. Without proper cleaning or regular replacement, this can lead to mold growth and the thought of potential mold near my baby’s milk…yeah, no. Closed system was a MUST.
  • Digital controls on an LCD screen with a variety of speed and suction options, as well as the ability to save your favorite settings to save you time each pump session!
  • Double pump that can also function as a single pump
  • SUPER LIGHT in weight! Only 3 lbs!
  • Built-in night light with 2 settings
  • Built in timer so you know exactly how long you’ve been pumping
  • BPA-free parts

MOST of these features were unique to the Spectra S1 in comparison to a comparable Medela model. The ONE thing that Medela includes that was a “nice-to-have” is a pump bag, which included a cooler and ice pack that fits around the milk collection bottles. However, my particular insurance covered a variety of Skip Hop bags and I chose one that, in my opinion, did not SCREAM: “HEY EVERYONE, MY BREAST PUMP IS IN HERE!” The Medela bag looks very much like what it is – a bag for a breast pump. So the bag part was not much of a factor for me personally. My insurance also covered the Kiinde Twist Breastfeeding Starter Kit when I ordered my pump, so I generally pumped directly into the Kiinde storage bags. Therefore, I didn’t have a need for an ice pack to fit around milk collection bottles. The Spectra S1 was the right choice for me. 

Pumping is a HARD job, so I definitely recommend getting a pump that will make it as easy on you as possible. I put together a FREE PUMP BAG CHECKLIST just for you because I KNOW how much is on your mind right now…and, like me, you probably walk out the door thinking, “I feel like I’m forgetting something…” Whether you’re going back to work, traveling, or just on the go on the regular, you’re going to need your pump bag LOCKED and LOADED with all the essentials to make your pumping sessions as easy as possible – giving you TIME back in your day. Before you head out of the house, utilize my EXACT pump bag checklist to ensure you aren’t missing a thing! Download your free printable checklist HERE!


As usual, this post is not sponsored in any way, shape, or form!

Leave a comment