This post has been LONG AWAITED, but I’m so happy to finally share my Medela Pump in Style Advanced and Spectra S2 Comparison with you! As a former exclusive pumper, I feel like I have high expectations for breast pumps and wanted to share my thoughts and the differences on both of these top performers! I’m talking about each of them individually, and even included a TL;DR for you to sum up 😉 I’ll give my final thoughts at the end! So let’s hop to it!
Medela Pump In Style Advanced and Spectra S2 Comparison
Please make sure you check with your insurance company for breast pump coverage!! 🙂
Medela Pump in Style Advanced
I’ve used the Medela Pump in Style Advanced for 2 out of 3 kiddos, and one of them I exclusively pumped for. It made it through 13 months of EPing, which means I was pumping anywhere from 3-8 times a day! The compact size made it easy to bring on the go (I would often be pumping in my car since I work in homecare), and I loved the battery pack and car adaptor options.
You can switch to expression mode once your milk starts to flow. I like this option because sometimes I have a let down before it automatically switches over to the pump mode, so if that happens I can switch over sooner.
You can control the strength of the suction. BUT IT’S POWERFUL. Do your nips a favor, don’t put the suction all the way up! Only have it as high as you need to get milk out.
There’s the ability to pump single or double. I usually only pump double, but this is convenient if you need to only pump one side! I do this now at times because Austin still isn’t really on a schedule yet and his feeding times are sometimes unpredictable. If I don’t want to completely express all my milk, I’ll just do one side so one boob is ready to go for him.
There’s a battery pack. This is helpful if you have to pump on the go so you’re not having to search for an outlet! The only thing I found is the batteries die pretty quickly, so you have to change them out frequently!
It’s an open system. The only thing I don’t love about this pump is there’s no barrier between the milk collection kit and the pump mechanism to prevent contamination.
Portability is better. The design is pretty small and sleek and it’s easy to throw in any bag!
Parts more readily available. You can find Medela parts just about anywhere, which is helpful in a pinch!
IT’S LOUD. Really loud. This was probably what I mainly disliked about this pump. I also felt like to was talking to me every time I hooked up and said a few choice words (I swear it called me a, ass-hooole, ass-hooole, ass-hoooole). Did your pump talk to you? Most mamas I ask say it does, haha!
I received the Spectra S2 this time around through my insurance company!
It’s a hospital grade pump. This means it’s a high performance pump with great suction. Great for exclusively pumping moms, or mamas with low supply.
You can switch to expression mode once you’re milk starts to flow. Similar to the Medela, once your milk starts flowing you can switch it over to save time!
The suction is adjustable in both stimulation and expression mode. I like this because everyone’s body responds differently, so you can adjust accordingly. The Medela only offers one suction strength in stimulation mode.
There are multiple cycle rates so you can control how fast or slow it pumps. This helps closely mimic your baby’s natural sucking pattern. For instance, it can do a slower, stronger suction or a faster, lighter suction. There are numerous settings to fit your needs. The higher the numbers = the more suction! Play with the settings to find what your body responds best to.
It saves your settings: The S2 will remember the settings you used previously, which can be beneficial and saves a bit of time! However, if you like to work your way up to a certain setting, you just have to remember to turn it back down before you shut the pump off.
30 minute shut off: The S2 conveniently shuts off after 30 minutes. This is actually super beneficial because I can’t tell you how many times I fell asleep pumping when I exclusively pumped for Landon!
The breast shield and flange are one single unit. This is kind of annoying, if I’m being honest. It makes it a little cumbersome to put them on when wearing a hands-free pumping bra.
Not as portable: It’s a little bulky of a design, and definitely not as small as the Medela. Not all bags will fit the S2, but my gal Sarah Wells developed a pump bag that will! I use her Abby bag, and the Spectra fits perfectly.
No battery option. You either need a plug or a car adaptor in order to use the pump. A battery option would be really nice, but I wonder if this has to do with the fact that it’s a stronger, hospital grade pump.
Parts aren’t as readily available. Medela parts can be found in just about any store that carries baby products, but that’s not the case with the Spectra. You can order on Amazon though, if you aren’t in a pinch! I bought extra supplies just to have on hand.
It’s INSANELY quiet. The first time my husband heard it, he said, “IT’S ON??!!?!?” Seriously, you can barely tell it’s on! Much better if you want to pump discreetly.
It’s a closed system. The back flow protector protects your breastmilk from any harmful bacteria.
There’s a night light! This is awesome if you’re an exclusive pumper who’s pumping at night during those early weeks! No need to turn on the lights or even leave the room.
Here’s your TL;DR:
Which would I recommend?
Honestly? I love both. My Medela got me through 13 months of exclusive pumping and still worked great! But I love the different features of the Spectra S2, and it’s much more gentle on my nipples. I also pump faster with the Spectra (I’ll be done in 10 minutes) whereas the Medela would take me anywhere from 20-30 minutes. I think its just a matter of figuring out which better fits your needs!
If you’ve used both, which do you prefer? I’d love to hear in a comment below!