We use the Spectra Dew 350 to express milk for our twins and it hasn’t let us down.
The Spectra is a hospital grade pump that is able to capture a great flow from both breasts without breaking the bank.
Read on to find out what why we recommend the pump and how to find a breast pump that suits your needs.
Benefits of a Breast Pump
Having twins we decided early on that we would look to purchase an electric breast pump for home. The plan was that my wife would breast feed the babies and look to pump milk in between breast feeding sessions. This was for two reasons:
- Sharing the load by expressing milk – By expressing milk for the fridge, this allowed me (the husband) to help out at night time so my wife could catch up on some sleep.
- Helping with supply – It’s known that pumping breast milk is a great way to help build a consistent flow of breast milk. My wife expressed her milk after breast feeding the babies to make sure the babies were getting the milk first and any left over was getting expressed.
Things to Consider when Looking at Breast Pumps for Twins
When we begun researching breast pumps we had no idea. We’ve noted down some of the key things we think you should look out for when researching breast pumps:
- Portability – Will you be looking to use the pump at home or also whilst travelling (e.g. work)? If looking to use it whilst travelling, weight and the ability to recharge the breast pump are key. These will be lesser priority for people leaving the unit at home permanently.
- Is the pump hospital grade? Read on to find out what makes a pump 'hospital grade'.
- Suction levels – Does the breast pump provide different levels of suction power?
- Double breast pump – We found having a pump that can express from both breasts was a great way to speed things up.
- Control suction for each breast – If you are looking to express from both breasts, check whether the breast pump allows you to set the strength levels for each breast. The Spectra reviewed here only lets you set the suction level for both breasts.
- How often will you pump – Some machines are only able to withstand 4-6 pumps a day. The Spectra reviewed here is able to withstand 8-12 pumps a day.
- Different flange sizes for your breasts – One size fits all flanges can be quite uncomfortable. Check whether the pump includes different flange sizes to suit your breast.
Why you Should Buy a Hospital Grade Pump
Hospital grade breast pumps is a fancy marketing term which is not currently regulated and is often freely used. Generally when people say ‘hospital grade’ they mean breast pumps which have the following features:
- Is able to initiate and pump supply of milk
- Hygienic and can be used by multi people
- Able to withstand 8+ uses per day without the motor quickly wearing out
Our decision to go a hospital grade pump was due to having twins and there being a need to possibly pump eight times or more.
We will probably also look to either sell or give our pump to family once we are finished using it. If we were only looking to pump once or twice a day, we would of most likely gone a more portable and non-hospital grade breast pump.
When trying to decide which type of pump to buy (hospital grade or portable), we’d recommend considering:
- Will you be needing to travel with the pump? Generally hospital grade pumps are more bulky
- Will you be using the pump more than 6-8 times a day? If yes, a hospital grade pump with its great durability is recommended.
- Do you have any plans to re-sell or give the unit to friends or family once you are finished? If yes, a hospital grade pump is recommended however there are some compact pumps which can be cleaned well for re-sale.
Spectra Dew 350: What’s in the Box
- Spectra Dew 350 double breast pump with AC adaptor
- Tubing (2) to connect from pump to bottle
- 2 valve heads
- 2 pieces of filter tubing
- 2 breast suction cups
- 2 anti-backflow filters
- 2 milk collection bottles (160mL/5oz) with lids (5oz/ 160mL size
- Instruction manual
Spectra Dew 350: Features
- Hospital grade suction to 350 mmHG
- Quiet operation
- Adjustable dial
- Double breast pump
- Built in handle
- Backfill protection
- Comes with bottles
How we Rated the Spectra 350
We rated the hygiene 10/10. The pump includes a back flow filter to stop milk making its way back into the pump. This in addition to the easy to clean bottles and suction cups makes the unit easy to keep clean.
The ability to easily keep the unit clean is also great for re-sale or for gifting to friends and family once you are done.
We rated the sound levels 9/10. The Spectra is whisper quiet and sometimes you can barely tell that the unit is on. For this reason we rated it a solid 9/10 and would of rated it a 10/10 if it was dead quiet.
We rated the portability 4/10. If you’re buying this pump you’re clearly not buying it for its portability. This pump is made for having at home and not something you would take when you are pumping on the move. With that said, the pump comes with a handle to help with moving it around the home.
We rated the efficiency 6/10. The reason for the lower ranking was due to the pump coming with one size fits all breast cups. This meant that the suction cups don’t create the best seal on the breast which impacts efficiency.
We gave the efficiency of the pump a 6/10 due to the hospital grade strength of the unit giving it 350 mmHG strength. This makes it more efficient than more portable pumps on the market.
We rated the comfort 6/10. The Spectra uses more of a tugging motion rather than a gentle pull motion on more expensive breast pumps on the market. We found this to be more of an issue if you accidentally ramp the pump up to high where you will experience some discomfort in the breast.
We rated the settings 4/10. This was largely due to the pump using a manual dial to control the strength of both breast pumps. Our preferred option would have been the ability to have different strength levels for each breast and also the ability to set presets for each breast.