Best Spectra Pump Settings: A Detailed Guide


Breastfeeding provides essential nutrients for a baby’s growth while creating a warm bond. However, new moms may face challenges.

Fortunately, breast pumps like the Spectra are designed to help moms pump milk and feed their little ones whenever necessary. But do you know how to optimize your Spectra pump settings to maximize comfort and milk yield? In this blog post, I’ll provide a guide to help you do just that.

Read Also: 9 Best Breast Pumps For Working Moms (2023 Reviewed)

Spectra breast pump how to use it?

The Spectra breast pump has revolutionized the experience of breastfeeding for numerous mothers. It’s convenient, efficient, and, most importantly, designed to mimic a baby’s natural nursing rhythm. It may look complex if you’re a new mother but don’t worry. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the entire process of how to use Spectra pump settings for newborns.

Understanding the Breast Pump Parts

A breast pump’s efficiency and effectiveness largely depend on its parts. Let’s explore each part, its functions, and how they fit together in your Spectra breast pump:

  • Breast Shield: This is the part placed directly onto your breast. Its primary function is to create a seal around the nipple and areola to generate suction.
  • Backflow Protector: This component prevents milk from flowing back into the pump motor, ensuring hygiene and your pump’s longevity.
  • Tubing: This part allows air to flow between the pump motor and the breast shield to generate suction.
  • Bottle: Attached below the breast shield, it collects the milk drawn out by the pump.

Getting Started

Wash all parts in contact with your breast and milk in warm, soapy water before using the breast pump. Then, sterilize them by boiling them for five minutes or using a sterilizing solution. 


How to put together spectra pump?

  1. Attach the backflow protector to the breast shield.
  2. Connect the tubing to the other end of the backflow protector.
  3. Then, connect the other end of the tubing to the Spectra pump.
  4. Attach the bottle to the breast shield.

Setting Up the Pump

The Spectra breast pump has a control panel with several buttons: power, cycle, vacuum, and expression mode. The pump also displays a light that allows you to pump in the dark.

To turn on the pump, plug it into a power source and press the power button. You’ll notice that the pump starts in ‘Massage Mode,’ a short, quick pattern designed to stimulate your let-down reflex.

Using the Pump

Place the shield onto your breast, ensuring a good seal. You can adjust suction levels using the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons. Start at low suction and then gradually increase it until it’s comfortable and milk starts to flow.

After your milk starts to flow, press the ‘Expression Mode’ button. In this mode, the suction will be longer and slower, mimicking the deep suckling of a baby.

Cleaning Your Spectra Breast Pump

Keeping your Spectra breast pump clean is crucial for maintaining good hygiene and ensuring your baby’s health. Here’s how to clean your pump:

  • Disassemble the Parts: After each use, disassemble all components of the pump that come in contact with your breast or milk. This includes the breast shield, backflow protector, and bottle.
  • Rinse: Rinse these parts under cool running water to remove residual milk. Avoid using hot water at this stage, as it can cause protein in the milk to stick to the parts.
  • Hand Wash: First, fill a basin with warm water and mild dishwashing soap. Then, wash the parts in the soapy water. Use a clean dishcloth or soft-bristle brush to clean the parts thoroughly. Avoid using abrasive cleaning tools as they can cause damage.
  • Rinse Again: Rinse the parts under running water until no soap remains.
  • Air Dry: Place the washed components on a clean dish towel or drying rack to air dry. Avoid using a dish towel to rub the parts dry, as it can transfer germs.
  • Sanitize: Consider sanitizing the parts once a day and always after cleaning. You can do this by boiling them in water for about 5 minutes, using a microwave steam bag, or a baby bottle sterilizer following the spectra breast pump instructions.
  • Reassemble: Once all the parts are completely air dry, reassemble your breast pump.
  • Pump Motor: The pump motor should never be washed or sterilized. Instead, wipe it down with a clean, damp cloth as needed.

It’s essential to wash your hands before handling cleaned pump parts. Regular cleaning of your Spectra breast pump is necessary not just for your baby’s health but also for the longevity and efficiency of your pump.


If you encounter problems while using your Spectra breast pump, such as decreased suction or milk flow, you can try a few troubleshooting steps.

First, make sure that all components are connected correctly. If the issue persists, check if the tubing is blocked and clean it out if necessary. You can also replace the tubing with a new one.

Related: How Often To Replace Pump Parts (Best Guidelines)

Tips for using a spectra breast pump for Optimal Pumping 

If you want to get the most out of your Spectra breast pump, here are some Spectra pumping tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure that all parts are clean and adequately connected before use.
  • Adjust the suction and speed settings until you find what works best.
  • Give yourself a few minutes of massage mode before switching to expression mode to ensure your let-down reflex is triggered.
  • Once finished pumping, wash all parts immediately in warm, soapy water.
  • Store your breastmilk in clean, airtight containers.
  • If you’re having any issues with the pump, don’t hesitate to contact customer service for help.

Difference: How to use Spectra S2 and S1 breast pump?

The Spectra breast pump is a fantastic tool to make the breastfeeding journey more accessible and comfortable. Spectra S1 and Spectra S2 are undoubtedly two of Spectra’s most popular models of hospital-grade breast pumps. While they share numerous features, such as a closed system, customizable settings, quiet operation, and backflow protection, the two models have some critical differences.

Another difference is the color scheme. The Spectra S1 is designed in blue, while the Spectra S2 comes in a pink hue. However, this is purely aesthetic and does not impact the functionality of the pumps.

How to use spectra S1 settings?

The most notable difference lies in the power source. The Spectra S1 comes with a built-in rechargeable battery, making it portable and convenient for mothers who need to pump on the go or away from a power outlet. 

How to use spectra S2?

On the other hand, the Spectra S2 needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet, making it less portable but potentially ideal for those who primarily pump at home or in a stable environment.

Moreover, due to the added convenience of a built-in battery, the Spectra S1 is more expensive than the Spectra S2. Yet, the choice between the two comes down to individual needs and preferences. 

Both pumps are designed with the same high-quality standards and deliver excellent performance to meet your breastfeeding needs.


Best Spectra Pump Settings for both S1 and S2

The Spectra breast pump offers a variety of settings to customize your pumping experience. Understanding these settings can help you achieve optimal milk flow and comfort. The settings include:

  • Massage Mode: This setting starts automatically when you turn on the pump. It uses a fast rhythm and light suction to stimulate the let-down reflex and initiate milk flow.
  • Expression Mode: You can switch to this mode once your milk starts flowing. It mimics a baby’s deep suckling with slower, more potent suction.
  • Adjustable Suction: Increase or decrease the suction level to find your comfort zone. Start with a low level and gradually increase it until you find a comfortable yet efficient level.
  • Adjustable Speed: You can also adjust the speed of the suction. Slower speeds can mimic a baby’s slow sucking and may help express more milk.
  • Night Light: The pump has a built-in night light with two brightness levels, helping you pump in low-light conditions without disturbing your baby’s sleep.

Understand the Different Modes 

The Spectra pump comes with two different modes of expression – the let-down and expression modes. Understanding these modes is important to select the most suitable one for you. The let-down mode is designed to stimulate the breast, while the expression mode is designed to express the milk. You can switch between these spectra pump settings for colostrum with the help of the Mode button.

Related: How Often Should I Pump At Night? A Guide for Nursing Mothers

Spectra Cycle Settings

Spectra breast pumps feature adjustable cycle settings, allowing mothers to personalize their pumping experience for optimal comfort and efficiency. “Cycle” refers to the speed at which the pump simulates suckling. A high cycle setting means faster suction and release, while a low cycle setting means slower suction and release.

Spectra offers a wide cycle range, from 38 to 54 cycles per minute in Expression mode and 70 cycles per minute in Massage mode. Breastfeeding mothers can adjust these settings according to their comfort and milk flow.

For instance, some mothers find that a fast cycle speed in Massage mode helps stimulate a quicker letdown. Once the milk is flowing, switching to Expression mode with a slower cycle can be more effective for milk extraction.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all setting. Experimenting with different cycle speeds is best to find what suits you best. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the Spectra breast pump instructions manual.

Adjust the Suction Strength

Every woman’s body is different; therefore, your suction strength while pumping on your Spectra pump will also vary. To adjust the suction, press the + and – buttons. 

Start at a lower suction strength and gradually increase it until you find the best fit for your body. Ideally, the suction should be strong enough to pump milk but not strong enough to hurt.

Use a Pumping Bra

Breast pumping can take some time, and you can tire quickly if you need to hold your breast shield and bottle in place throughout. In such situations, investing in a breast-pumping bra can be helpful. These bras keep the breast shield and collection bottles in place, freeing your hands.

Find the Best Pumping Position

The position you use while pumping can significantly affect the milk yield and how comfortable the experience is. Finding the right position for you can take some experimentation. Some women find that sitting upright works best, while others prefer to lean forward slightly. You may have to try different positions to find the best one.

Related: How to Combine Breastfeeding and Pumping?

How do I pump more with Spectra settings for newborn?

Increasing your milk production with your Spectra breast pump might seem challenging initially, but with some tips and practice, you can effectively boost your milk supply. Here’s how:

  • Frequent Pumping: The more frequently you express milk, the more signals your body receives to produce milk. Try to mimic a feeding schedule similar to your baby’s, even if that means pumping every 2-3 hours.
  • Double Pumping: Double pumping (pumping from both breasts simultaneously) can save time and stimulate more excellent milk production.
  • Massage and Heat: Apply a warm compress to your breasts and gently massage them before pumping. This can help stimulate milk flow and make pumping more efficient.
  • Proper Fitting Shield: Ensure that the breast shield fits correctly. An incorrect size can decrease your milk output and cause discomfort.
  • Stay Hydrated and Well-Nourished: Your body needs extra fluids and nutrients to produce milk. 
  • Use Varied Settings: Utilize the different modes and settings available on the Spectra pump. Start with the massage mode to stimulate the let-down reflex before switching to expression mode for efficient milk extraction.
  • Relaxation: Stress can interfere with milk production. Try to create a comfortable, stress-free environment when you pump. You can listen to music, watch a show, or practice deep breathing techniques.

Conclusion: How to use spectra?

Breastfeeding and pumping milk comes with several challenges, but the Spectra pump can help make the pumping process smoother and more comfortable. By adjusting your Spectra pump settings following my guide, you can optimize your comfort and milk yield. Remember that every woman is different, so feel free to experiment with different settings and find what works best for you.

Remember to take breaks while pumping, and give yourself time to relax and recharge. Investing in a comfortable chair or a breast pump bra can help make the process more enjoyable. Additionally, listening to music or podcasts while you pump-it can help take your mind off things and make the experience more enjoyable.

Additional Resources

If you are still looking for more information on the Spectra breast pump, here are some great resources:

  • Spectra Breast Pump User Manual – This is an in-depth guide with detailed instructions on how to use the Spectra breast pump.
  • Spectra Breast Pump FAQs – This page answers some of the most common questions about the Spectra breast pump.
  • Spectra’s YouTube Channel – This is an excellent source for educational videos on correctly assembling, using, and cleaning your Spectra breast pump.
  • Spectra Breastfeeding Support Team – If you have any questions or need help troubleshooting, the Spectra breastfeeding support team is here to assist.

Parents Also Ask

What is the strongest suction setting on Spectra?

The strongest suction setting on Spectra breast pumps is typically 270 mmHg. This setting allows for efficient and comfortable breast milk extraction, accommodating various needs and preferences.

What is the best time to express milk?

The best time to express milk varies for each individual, but many find it most productive to pump in the morning, as milk production tends to be highest. A good rule of thumb is to pump around an hour after the first-morning feed.

Can pumping too much decrease the milk supply?

Contrary to popular belief, pumping too much can increase your milk supply, not decrease it. This is because breast milk production follows the principles of supply and demand. The more milk you remove from your breasts, the more you produce.

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