Guide: Nursing 201 – Breast Milk Pumps Review Part 2

This is a continuation of my previous post and in this post I will review the next 2 pumps that I used: Spectra 9S and Spectra S2+.

My third pump: Spectra 9
Some may be confused because there is a wide range of names for this pump. There is Spectra S9+, Spectra 9S, Spectra 9S+ etc. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I think the difference in names is because Korea calls it a different name. In Korea, this is called the Cimilre 9S (for the one that comes with no rechargeable battery and you can use AA batteries with it) and Cimilre 9S+ (comes with rechargeable battery). In Singapore, the stores call it Spectra S9 (no rechargeable battery) and Spectra S9+ (with rechargeable battery). As you may have guessed, the ones with rechargeable battery cost more.

How to get it: Similar to the Spectra M1, you can get it either at departmental stores or online stores in Singapore or on Qoo10 (Korean version Cimilre S9 or S9+). I got mine on Qoo10 and the seller shipped it in for me. Again, please refer to the previous post for caveats before you run to place order.

What I liked about it:

  1. Portability: It’s really tiny! It’s lighter than the M1 and feels more like a fat cellphone.
  2. Decent suction: Suction isn’t compromised despite the size. It extracts about the same yield as a Spectra M1 for me if I use it on days I’m out of office.
  3. Quiet: It’s quite quiet, sounds almost like purring and the sound lulls me to sleep
  4. Batteries: I got the Cimilre 9S, so mine came with the option of using AA batteries, and I could bring an extra set of batteries as a safety measure.
  5. Dual Pump: It comes inbuilt with outlets for both tubings so there’s no need to fumble with connectors like the M1. Very convenient!

What I disliked about it:

  1. Nothing to dislike except that this is the option when you are out and about and probably not the best thing to use on a daily basis in the office. I felt that my yield reduced when I used this exclusively.
  2. The mold issue mentioned in my last post about M1 still applies here because it’s the same type of backflow protector.

Why I bought my next pump: Both Spectra M1 and 9S were not powerful enough to keep my yield levels up past Baby E’s 1 year mark. On hindsight I really should have just invested in a hospital grade pump from the beginning.

My last pump: Spectra S2 

My last pump, also my most loved. I finally found my love, and it was sad to say goodbye at the end. Note that there are different versions in the market. The S2 is the one without rechargeable battery, and there’s no compartment to put AA batteries, meaning it’s a wall socket set. The S2+ has an inbuilt rechargeable battery, increasing the convenience. I got the S2 because it was cheaper and I only needed to pump in the office and the nursing room had a power socket.

How to get it: After the good experience with buying directly from Korea for Spectra S9, I ordered this on Qoo10 again. This comes as a single set and I made use of my tubings from the S9 to convert it into a dual pumping set.

What I liked about it:

  1. Suction: So good! I noticed an increase in yield when I used this and it helped to maintain my ‘Just in time’ system for Baby E.
  2. Quiet: This is relatively quiet for a hospital grade pump. My colleague uses the same and sometimes I have to listen carefully to hear the sound of this pump.
  3. Outlets for both tubings: Despite it coming with only 1 set of accessories (for Korean set), there are outlets for both tubings and I didn’t have to fumble with T connectors as with my old M1 pump.

What I disliked about it:

  1. Gigantic compared to M1 and 9S: We affectionately call this ‘The Rice Cooker’. It’s a little bulky to bring around on shopping trips.
  2. No alternative power: Because I bought the S2, it works on power socket only and I did feel quite thankful that I had finished pumping before a company-wide power outage previously.
  3. The bottles dropping and mold in backflow protector issues that Spectra has still apply because the accessories are all the same.

Parting Words

As you can see, the fussy me cycled through 4 pumps when honestly I could have made do with 2. One in the office and one as a travel set and to use on occasions when Baby E wasn’t there to latch. The following is what I learnt during the experience:

  1. How long do you intend to nurse for: If you are super determined, then go for a hospital grade from day 1.
  2. If you are unsure about whether nursing is for you: Go for a portable alternative first to see your yield, then invest in a hospital grade one when you need to go back to the office after maternity leave. Keep the portable one at home and the hospital grade one in the office. It’ll save your shoulders. Carousell them after you stop nursing.
  3. Is the pump an open or closed system? If you should decide to accept second hand pumps from friends and colleagues, consider only closed systems because milk can flow into the tubings for open system and cause mold. Always buy new accessories (especially the valve and membrane which are in constant contact with milk and are difficult to wash) when accepting second hand sets.
  4. Some pump parts can be used across brands, so even if you switch brands, they might be useful for the other brand, so don’t toss them away! The following are parts that I know are compatible:
    1. Medela valve and membranes can actually fit Spectra’s breast shields, and are more durable than the actual Spectra valves.
    2. MaM teats can actually fit Spectra bottles so even if you no longer use Spectra pump, you can use Spectra bottles to feed your LO if you happen to be using MaM teats. One thing to note is that the spill proof MaM teat actually leaks if you use Spectra bottles with it. The rest of the MaM teats work well.
    3. Avent bottle can be connected to Spectra flanges to collect milk when pumping. It fits.
    4. Pigeon teat can actually fit into Avent classic bottles. We found out while trying various teats to get Baby E to accept bottles.

That’s all for my pump reviews! If anyone is keen to do a review on Medela pumps, Haakaa manual pump etc, please drop me a message! Would love to hear about these pumps and what you think of them.

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