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Instructions for Using a Spectra Breast Pump

Assembling Parts & Pump Features
  • See the instruction manual for assembling the kit parts. When assembling the back-flow protector, insert the silicone membrane into the lower (smaller) half and press down around the outside edge. Attach the upper half over the silicone membrane.
  • The power button (dark center button) will turn your pump on/off. The massage/expression button (above the power button) will allow you to go back and forth from the massage phase to the expression phase as needed. To the left, are the cycle buttons that allow you to adjust the cycle speed (this refers to how many times the pump sucks and releases per minute.) To the right are the vacuum pressure buttons that adjust the strength of the suction. Your pump has a nightlight (button far to the right) that allows you to pump in the dark if needed.
  • The Spectra will display the length of time that you have been pumping and will automatically remember your settings for your next pumping session.
  • For the Spectra S1 breast pump with a built-in battery, do not charge it overnight. 2-3 hours of charge is all your pump needs to provide 3 hours of pumping without using a power outlet.

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Using a Spectra Breast Pump
  • Place the breast shield against your breast with your nipple centered in the opening. If desired, you may pump only one breast at a time by removing one of the tubes from the machine and closing the port with the cap.

Spectra breast shields come in 3 sizes (24, 28 and 32mm). There is also a massage insert available. For comfort and efficiency, nipples should NOT rub the sides of the tunnel of the breast shield; only the nipple (not the areola) should enter the tunnel. For more information, see Correct Fit of a Breast Shield handout.

  • Press the power button to turn your pump on. The Spectra will begin in the expression mode. Most moms need to start pumping in the massage mode to encourage your breasts to release milk ("let down"). During the massage mode, you may adjust the vacuum pressure (strength of suction) to what is most comfortable to you.
  • Increase the vacuum pressure to the point of minor discomfort and then back it down until there is no discomfort. Remember, pumping should not hurt.
  • When you notice milk starting to drip, press the massage/expression button again to switch to the expression phase. During the expression mode, you have the option to customize both the vacuum pressure and the speed by pressing the corresponding set of buttons up or down.

Every woman is different, so experiment to find what settings work best for you. The goal is to maximize the amount of milk removed by finding the settings that are both comfortable and effective. 

How do I clean my pump parts?

Before first use:

  • The manufacturer recommends disinfecting the breast shield connector piece and collection bottle by boiling water, removing the pot from the stove and placing parts the in the hot water for no more than 5 minutes. Parts may bend if placed in actively boiling water or if they are submerged for more than 5 minutes.
  • Always hand wash the white duckbill valves and back flow protectors.
  • There is no need to wash or boil the tubing.

After each use:

  • Wash the parts the come into direct contact with the breast and breastmilk in warm soapy water, rinse and set out to air dry. If you aren’t able to do this after each pumping session, take apart and rinse the parts and thoroughly wash later in the day.
  • It is important that the duckbill valves are fully dried. If attached while wet or after a few months' use, they may become loose and slip off which requires that they be replaced.
  • The tubing does not come in contact with your milk. You may wipe down the outside of the tubing periodically with a clean cloth. If you notice condensation (moisture) in the tubing after you pump, leave your pump on for a couple minutes after pumping. This will dry the tubing. If moisture builds up in the tubing, squirt isopropyl alcohol through the tubing and hang to dry.
  • It is not necessary to wash the backflow protector after each use. It is recommended that these parts are taken apart and laid out to dry from any condensation (moisture).
  • Parts may be damaged in the dishwasher. If placed in the dishwasher, the breast shield connector and bottles should not be crowded. Duckbill valves, the silicone backflow protector piece and tubing should never be placed in the dishwasher. 
How often should I pump?

If your baby is not going to breast:

Pump at least every 2-3 hours during the day and every 3-4 hours at night, or at least 8 times in 24 hours. You may pump more often if you need to increase your supply.

If you are going to be separated from your baby temporarily:

Pump whenever you would be feeding your baby, or whenever your baby gets fed from a bottle in your absence.

Baby is going to breast but is not gaining well and you need milk for supplementation:

If you think that your supply is low, pump about 30 minutes after your baby nurses. This break before additional removal may stimulate more milk production. If you think that your supply is good, but your baby is not gaining weight, pump after your baby feeds at the breast and schedule an appointment with a lactation consultant. 

How long should I pump?
We recommend that you pump for ~10-15 minutes. Pumping for more than 15 minutes may result in nipple pain. Pumping more frequently, rather than for a longer time period, may help to build your milk supply. 

Please call us if you have any questions about using a breast pump or to renew your rental pump by your renewal date – 402-423-6402 (LINCOLN) or 402-502-0617 (OMAHA).