Review: Breastpump Comparisons Pt #4 – Spectra 3

As soon as I returned my rented Medela Lactina after my confinement period, the search for an affordable twin pump began. Having been a user of Medela products and knowing how promising they are, I longed for a Medela Freestyle. However, not knowing how long I could/wanted to breastfeed, we settled for a more affordable breastpump namely Spectra 3.

Image sourced from Mom's Choice Online Store

The price was great for a double pump; we got it at RM380 with a pair of breastshields. Originated from Korea, it can be used for both single and twin pumping. Spectra 3 went on to become my trusty milk extractor wherever I went for the next eight months. I lugged it to work, to my hometown, to Sabah for a vacation and basically everywhere I needed to be at for a duration of time.

Here’s my feedback:

~ Its breastshields are akin to Medela Lactina’s: plastic hard.
~ The pump works on AC adapter only. You’ll need to ensure that your pumping location has electrical source.
~ It has three parts to wash and assemble. The pump is considerably quiet and does not vibrate while pumping.
~ Size wise, it can fit into my Medela pump bag although it is the bulkiest among all the portable breastpumps I have used. It weighs around 1.4kg which is still considerably light (at least to me).
~ It is a breastpump and extracting milk is all it does. If you expect more than that – like the comfort and two-phase expression features that Medela has – then you’ll be disappointed.
~ Its so-called adjustable suction is not very flexible after all. Turn the knob clockwise and the suction gets too strong and vice versa. It takes a (long) while to get used to the powerful suction.
~ Probably because it doesn’t come with a “massage” feature to stimulate let-down, it can get rather uncomfortable. With Spectra 3, I had to be 100% relax and divert my attention to my iPhone while pumping. Otherwise, I would be sitting there for 30 minutes without yielding as much milk as I could compared to Medela Swing/Freestyle in half the time.
~ The valves could do better with some improvements. Each time I steam sterilize the valves, they came out curved and hence, disabling the pump to work due to air gap between shields and pump. To rectify this problem, I sanitize by dipping them in the sterilized solution. This way, the valves will maintain their shapes.

In a nutshell, if your budget is limited, need a twin pump to cut down pumping time, have no problems with letting down and do not mind something that’s less comfortable, go for it!

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12 thoughts on “Review: Breastpump Comparisons Pt #4 – Spectra 3

  1. Pingback: Breastfeeding: One Year & Beyond « It Ain't That Hard

  2. Klee

    Hi! I’m just wondering why you have stopped using this and opted to get a Medela Freestyle when it seems like it was working well for you? Hope to get a reply soon as I am about to decide whether I should get a Spectra or a Medela. šŸ™‚ Thank you.

    1. joeyllhow

      Spectra is a good pump but only if you’re willing to compromise on comfort. As letting-down was a problem for me, the lack of two phase expression feature made it even longer to express. With freestyle, I could get everything done in less than 8 minutes, really comfortable!

    1. joeyllhow

      Both Spectra and Medela make different kind of noise. Spectra does the “shhh shkk” sound while Medela does this “brrr brrr” sound. I personally feel Medela is quieter although the device vibrates when in use.

  3. Julianne

    Hi, is the suction strong enough? i found Medela swing suction a bit low. Hav u sold this spectra to someone else too?

    1. joeyllhow

      Hi Julianne, yes, the suction for Spectra is very strong. If you find swing suction is low even after adjusting to the highest mode, Spectra may be suitable for you. Unfortunately, I have just sold my Spectra. Perhaps you can look around in mudah.com or wait for sales? I think the cheapest I’ve seen is RM360+ including both breastshields.

  4. hikmah

    hi julianne,
    i’m selling my spectra 3 but it comes with package (pump, xtra breastshield, ice packs, storage bottle, bottle drying rack, bag).

    i’m not preggie but i have adopted a son, been on hormones but seem failed to breastfeed him. so i think it’s best to let go while it’s still new.

    if u r interested, please email me hikmahrusli@gmail.com

  5. Hi Julianne,
    Interesting reading your blog…

    Looks like the Spectra3 is not so bad after all.

    Do u mean if letting-down is a problem (as for me too), then Spectra3 is not an ideal? i tried Medela mini electric before, personally find it quite noisier & not powerful. First 10-15 mins was nothing bcoz it took that long to make my milk let-down.

    So Im now considering Spectra3 with Avent Single Electric. Spectra3 only operates by main power, while Avent Electric is both main power & battery (though battery is not powerful i believe). Can you share your opinion?

    1. joeyllhow

      Because Spectra 3 doesn’t have a two-phase expression feature, it was harder for me to let down. More so after I have direct fed my boy for 6 months without pumping. If your breasts are used to pumping, that shouldn’t be a problem. Just make sure you’re relaxed. I’m not sure about Avent but I have heard good reviews about it before. If you’re planning to breastfeed beyond one year, why not invest a little more in a good pump such as Ameda Lactaline or Medela Freestyle or Pump In Style? I know of a shop that allows you to test the pumps before buying. Check out Mom’s Little Ones.

  6. hi, been blog hopping looking for best and affordable breast pump. need your kind opinion between medela swing and spectra 3. im a mom to be and have no idea of this bf and planning to exclusively bf. please need some advise..

    1. joeyllhow

      Hi Zila, thanks for dropping by. If you’re planning to breastfeed exclusively for at least six months, my biggest tip is go for DOUBLE pump. Many mums (including me) wanted to save and bought a single pump, only to buy another double pump because it saves a lot of time and makes breastfeeding a lot easier. So do invest in a good double pump because you won’t regret this decision. Breastfeeding requires lots of commitment and isn’t easy at the beginning – especially for first-timers – but it gets better as time passes. Between Medela Swing and Spectra 3, go for Spectra. But if you have the budget, I’d say invest in Ameda Lactaline. By the way, I believe there’s a newer version of Spectra double pump. Do ask around, http://www.thenurturing.com is a good local website to start for info on breastfeeding. You can actually test-drive the breastpumps before buying, the outlets of http://momslittleones.com/ provide free testing. Have a great breastfeeding journey!

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