How To: Spectra Breast Pump

Are you using or considering using a Spectra pump?  If so, great! Many mothers find this to be an excellent, efficient breastpump.  However, we have found that not all mothers are using the pump in the most efficient manner.   When used properly, we want the pump to mimic how a baby would suckle when breastfeeding. The instructions on the Spectra can be a little confusing, so follow these steps for the most comfortable and efficient pumping.  Turn on the pump with the power button. You will notice that the pump automatically starts at 54 cycles per minute. Actually, you want the pump to start out with a faster cycle, to mimic how a baby breastfeeds. When a baby latches onto the breast, they start sucking quickly to stimulate a let-down and then once the milk starts flowing, their suck may slow down.  So, after you turn on the pump, you should immediately push the “Massage” button. It is the top, center button that looks like 3 waves. This will increase the speed to 70 cycles per minute. Stay at this speed until your milk starts flowing. Most mothers find this takes a minute or two. Once milk is flowing, press that “wave” button again. This will slow the pump into “expression mode.”  At this point, you can adjust your cycles per minute to somewhere between 38-54 sucks per minute. This will draw out the milk, and when many mothers notice milk spraying. At this point you can adjust your vacuum up or down as needed. Choose the highest suction level that you can comfortably tolerate. Some mothers find that they will go back to the faster speed to stimulate an additional let-down if their milk slows down.  When you are done pumping, make sure to turn down the vacuum, as the next time you turn your pump on, it will turn on to the same level. If you still have questions about pumping, or are not sure if your flanges are fitting properly, please seek the help of one of our Board Certified Lactation Consultants.

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