|Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced||Spectra S1 & S2||Philips Avent|
|Winner||Runner Up||Honorable Mention|
|Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon|
One important decision parents must make when preparing for a new baby is how he or she will be fed. If breastfeeding is the route you take, there are sure to be times when mom will be out of pocket and your baby will still need to eat. Whether mom will be heading back to work or simply wants to spend a relaxing night away, having a great breast pump is the way to go to ensure your baby will have plenty of milk on hand whenever he or she needs it.
What Is The Best Breast Pump?
Medela Pump-In-Style Advanced double electric pump comes in your choice of three bags — tote, backpack, or metro bag. Both the tote and backpack offer a built-in pump, while the metro bag’s is removable. This pump includes a rechargeable battery pack that runs on 8 AA batteries and a cooler bag and contoured ice pack (that fit inside the bag) for milk storage.
The Pump-in-Style Advanced is light and easily portable. It comes with customizable adjustments for speed and vacuum and 2-phase expression, which begins with a more gentle setting, then adjusts to a longer, deeper suction after letdown.
Some cons of the Pump-in-Style Advanced include its higher price and design as an open system, which means that milk can flow backwards into the tubing and, possibly, into the motor of the machine. Some people have reported finding mold in their tubing. Other users have reported experiencing motor issues or failure. Medela recommends unplugging the tubing and allowing the motor to run for a few additional minutes to remedy this issue. Some moms also complain that this unit is noisy, not as comfortable, and can lead to sore nipples.
Overall, the pros of this unit are the portability, battery pack, and available car adaptor that give moms the ability to pump anywhere. Other benefits include the availability of parts and supplies (found on Amazon) and solidly constructed bottles and attachments.
The Spectra S2 is a hospital grade double electric pump. The Spectra brand is a relative newcomer to the field and claims to be designed, owned, and run by lactation consultants and breastfeeding moms. The S2 pump boasts a powerful yet gentle pump that has highly customizable settings, including baby-mimicking pump action that reduces nipple soreness. The unit has touch-button controls with a memory feature that will return to your last setting to ensure the best experience for each individual mom.
One major advantage of Spectra pumps is their closed system design. This means that there is no air flowing between the milk and the tubing, which eliminates the fear of mold from moisture in the tubes. The Spectra S2 unit is quiet, and includes a timer and a night light feature.
Pros include the lower price tag, closed system, strong but comfortable pumping action, customizable settings, quiet action, and quality customer support.
Cons of the S2 include no battery (Spectra S1 offers this option) or bag for portability (the S2 does have an available vehicle adaptor), inferior bottles, flanges that are not as easy to clean, as well as the fact that Spectra parts are sold as kits and not individually, and are not as easily available at retail stores.
Spectra S1 vs S2
The Spectra S1 is an upgrade from the Spectra S2 as it has the same features and design, but includes an inbuilt rechargeable battery for portability. This upgrade is a great improvement for any mom who needs the option to take her pump on the go.
The S1 can produce around 3 to 4 full pumping sessions on battery charge. Otherwise, the Spectra S1 has the same closed-system design and features as the S2 model.
The Philips Avent Double Electric Pump offers a small, light, and portable pump that is designed with a “lean forward” design which allows moms to sit upright in a more comfortable position. The pump also offers a closed system so there is no worry of mold or milk flowing into the motor.
The Philips Avent pump has shields designed for comfort and cushions that can be inserted for extra suction. The pump comes with three settings and a gentle stimulation mode.
Pros of this system include the innovative design, quiet motor for discrete expression, and comfort cushions. The parts are designed to be fewer and easier to clean and the parts and bottles are carried at multiple retail stores such as Walmart.
Cons include the fact that there is no battery, carrying case, or cooler included for on the go pumping, the pump speeds and suction settings are not as customizable, and some moms find that this pump does not have the strength of other pumps.
Final Verdict: Spectra S1 vs S2 vs Medela Pump In Style vs Philips Avent
Nursing is a wonderful way to bond with your baby, and burn a few calories, but for most working moms pumping is a necessity. Whatever your specific circumstances, there are many great options and a range of features to accommodate the needs of moms who pump.
Make sure you properly clean your breast pump, here is a video showing how to take care of the Medala pump: