Spectra vs Medela – Which Pump Is the Best Option for a Nursing Mother?

Today, women have to balance between their professional ambitions and obligations as mothers. Breast pumps have, therefore, become an important tool for the nursing mother who wants to continue nurturing her child while at the same time pursue her career. In the lines that follow, I am going to compare Spectra vs Medela – two of the most popular pumps on the market. I base my comparison on my personal experience as I used both of them quite extensively.

User experience

The first important factor you should consider when discussing Spectra vs Medela is user experience. Using Spectra is much smoother as it has been designed to offer a gentle breasts massage for the mother when she is expressing milk. This massage creates an authentic feeling of a baby suckling the breast.

Medela, on the other hand, gives you a “rougher” feeling. So when it comes to user experience, I prefer Spectra.

Hygiene

The second, and no less important, factor that emerges when comparing Spectra vs Medela is the hygiene level. The former is a closed system while the latter is an open system.

Spectra, using a closed system, is more hygienic because it is designed to prevent backflow of milk into the motor or the tubing.  This function ensures that the pump remains clean at all times.

On the other hand, an open system means that Medela pumps must be sterilized after every use. Otherwise, the tubes will act as breeding ground for the moulds and other forms of bacteria.

Speed and adjustment

Spectra has a flexible suction speed which you can adjust to suit your pumping needs. The pump’s adjustment rate can be customized to help women with low milk supply.

Similarly, Medela has a vacuum and a suction speed. However, the speed and vacuum cannot be adjusted separately. The result is that the range between which you can adjust the Medela pump is narrow compared to the Spectra pump.


Which pump is quieter?

Sometimes, nursing mothers prefer to express the milk at night when their baby is fast asleep. This helps with proper planning for the next day, especially if you have a busy work day ahead of you or if you intend to run some errands.

In my assessment of Spectra vs Medela, and after asking other mothers, Spectra is, definitely, quieter. It enables you the convenience of pumping milk while being in the same room with your baby without the fear of waking her up.

Efficiency

When it comes to efficiency, I give both Spectra and Medela high score as they come with single and double pump options. The double pump option is very useful when you are pumping and breastfeeding the baby concurrently. The hand-free pumps make it possible to handle other tasks as you express milk.

Durability

Here, Medela scores higher. The bottles that come with it are of higher quality. Spectra bottle flanges are loosely fitted. Thus, they are likely to come off when you move around as you express. In addition, they tend to deform when sterilized in boiling water.

Outdoor pumping

Medela pumps are sold with battery packs for outdoor pumping. Sadly, for Spectra, the nursing mother has to arrange for pumping batteries when the pump is used outside the house.

Conclusion

Based on the features of Spectra vs Medela I referred to above, I can confidently conclude that Spectra is a better option. A nursing mother wants a pump that is convenient and easy to use. All these advantages she can find in Spectra.

Spectra is noiseless, more hygienic and comfortable to use, faster and more adjustable. Its lack of battery pack can be compensated for by procuring accessories like a car adapter. In essence, Spectra provides a wide range of advantages that makes it a suitable companion for a nursing mother.

The article is contributed by Jennifer Bailey, a mother to 3 children from Pittsburgh, PA