A breast pump can be an essential investment for a nursing mother. Although some mothers don’t need to use one, in most cases, you will appreciate having a breast pump by your side. In this breast pump review, I’ll compare the Spectra s9 vs. Medela Freestyle to help you decide which one is right for you.
Why Should You Buy a Breast Pump?
There are different types of breast pumps, but all of them aim to do essentially the same thing; express the milk from the breast. Although there are other ways that can help you remove milk from the breasts, a breast pump is the easiest and usually most efficient one. You might need to use a breast pump in several situations.
- If you have too much milk, your breasts can get engorged. The swelling is extremely painful, and when ignored, can lead to mastitis or abscesses.
- If your baby is unable to latch on the nipple, the pump will help you provide them with the needed nutrition. The pump will help keep the milk flowing, even if you’re using the bottle for a supplementary meal until your baby is ready to take the milk directly out of the breast.
- If you have a low milk supply, using the milk will help stimulate milk production and let down.
- When you’re separated from your child because you’re traveling or going to work. The pumped milk can be kept in the fridge until your baby is ready for feeding time.
- The pump will help with night feeds when the mother is taking a break. However, this shouldn’t be done all the time, as the mother needs to breastfeed her child at night, especially in the first few weeks.
Spectra 9 Plus vs. Medela Freestyle Comparison Table
Here are the specifications of each unit for you to compare.
|Model||Spectra S9 Plus||Medela Freestyle|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Style||Portable Electric Double Pump||Portable Electric Double Pump|
|Display||LCD Screen||Digital Backlit Screen|
|Battery||9-Volt AC Power Adapter. Rechargeable Battery||Rechargeable Lithion-Ion Battery with AC Adapter.|
|Bag||No||Yes, with cooler.|
|Bottles||2 Wide Neck Bottles Included||4x 150ml Bottles Included|
|Material||BPA Free Plastic||BPA Free Plastic|
|Breast Shields||2x 24mm Breast Shields Included||2x 24mm and 2x 27mm Breast Shields Included|
|Warranty||2 Year Warranty on Pump, 90 Days on Accessories||1 Year Limited Warranty on Motor, 90 Days on Other Parts|
These 2 pumps are available for nursing mothers. In this section, we’ll analyze their features to help you pick the most suitable one.
Spectra 9 Plus
Spectra offers several breast pump models to cater to the needs of nursing mothers. The Spectra 9 Plus is the latest addition to the line that contains other models, the S1 Plus, S2 Plus, and S3 Pro.
The Spectra 9 Plus is one of the sleekest and most portable electric breast pumps on the market. Combining the sleek design with excellent performance, this electric pump will allow you to express milk on demand to keep your little one well-fed. It weighs just half a pound.
It features single or double pumping capability to guarantee maximum comfort. The LED screen shows information about the amount of pumped milk and the duration of pumping, and the buttons are easy to manipulate.
When you buy this electric pump, you will also receive a bunch of useful accessories that you can use while breastfeeding your child.
- Two 24mm breast shields, other sizes are available for purchase.
- Two duckbill valves.
- A pair of tubings.
- A pair of slow-flow teats.
- Two backflow protectors.
- Two wide neck storage bottles.
- One Power Adapter.
Spectra 9 Plus uses Natural Nursing Technology, which mimics natural breastfeeding. It comes with several features, such as adjustable suction levels elimination of backflow, which provide a more natural feeling for the mother and a better feeding experience for the child. Here are some of its features.
- Can be used with the AC power cord or built-in 9v rechargeable battery: The excellent battery in this unit lasts for up to 3 hours and takes around 2 hours to fully recharge. Most pumping sessions are under 20 minutes, so you could expect this charge to last for a few days.
- Works with single and double pumping: Thanks to the T connector tubing. Simply unplug the tubing you aren’t using and it becomes a single pump.
- Provides 10 levels of suction: This gives mama the greatest range of comfort and mimics natural breastfeeding. The speed adjusts with the suction level.
- Very lightweight at 0.5lbs: It’s one of the lightest breast pumps on the market.
- Very Quiet: At just 50 decibels, this unit can be used comfortably day or night.
- It’s very small: Measuring just 3 x 5 x 1.8 inches, meaning it fits neatly into a handbag or pocket for excellent portability.
Investing in the Spectra 9 pump comes with several advantages.
Compact and Portable
This is one of the lightest electric pumps on the market. It’s no bigger than a smartphone and can fit into any bag. Since it comes with a built-in rechargeable battery, you can also use it without connecting it to a power source. This is a big plus for working mums and those who have to be separated from their baby.
Adjustable Suction Levels
Having 10 different suction levels allows you to use the Spectra 9 Plus at the power level that suits you. You can use a higher suction power and speed if that works for you, or choose the gentler suction level if your nipples and breasts are tender. Even at the highest setting, the Spectra 9 Plus is still gentle and comfortable.
The massage mode mimics the baby’s suction. The natural suckling of the baby stimulates the milk ducts and pushes them to produce more milk. The massage mode can be adjusted into 5 different levels. The Spectra 9 Plus also memorizes your latest settings, so you don’t have to readjust the pump with every use.
This electric pump operates at 45 decibels, which is very quiet. Whether you’re sleeping or your baby is sleeping next to you, you can still use the Spectra 9 Plus electric pump to express. The subtle operation sound guarantees the discreet expression of your breastmilk when you’re away from home.
The pump comes with backflow protectors to keep the harmful bacteria at bay and guarantee that the milk will always be fresh and healthy, ready for the next feeding session. Thanks to the closed-system pumping, the motor itself won’t get in touch with the breast milk. This means the parts need less cleaning and will keep your pump working for longer.
Stats related to the expression of your breastmilk will be displayed on an easy to read LED screen. The Spectra 9 Plus also comes with an auto-timer feature that you can set before you start using it. This will give you total control over how long you will pump for.
You can also compare the amount of milk expressed every time by setting the timer. It automatically shuts off after 30 minutes.
yes, the Spectra S9 has a host of helpful features and amazing advantages, but it also comes with a few limitations that you need to be aware of.
- The speed can’t be adjusted independently from the suction level. This is not a problem for most mothers, as speed isn’t usually relevant to the amount of milk produced.
- The motor isn’t designed to be used too frequently, but this shouldn’t be a problem for most moms.
- It comes with one pair of breast shields. Spectra offers 4 sizes of breast shields, so if the 24mm isn’t a good fit for you, they will need to be ordered seperately.
- The battery will only last for up to 2-3 hours. Although Spectra 9 Plus is suitable for working mothers, you will need to find a power source if you need to use it more often.
Medela currently offers 11 models of single and double electric pumps, but the Medela Freestyle is a favorite among nursing mothers, thanks to its exceptional features.
Although it can easily fit in the palm of your hands, this powerful yet gentle electric pump will help you express and collect healthy breast milk for your child whenever you need to.
It combines flexibility with comfort to offer the most relaxing and satisfying experience to a busy mom. The pump features a rechargeable battery, and its compact size makes it extremely easy to carry around. However, this pump weighs 4.7 pounds because of the built-in battery.
Thanks to the backlit digital display, you will be able to record all the data related to your current breast milk suction session. When you buy the Medela Freestyle, you will receive several cool accessories.
- 2 feeding bottles with lids.
- 2 pairs of breast shields and tubing. The shields measure 24 mm and 27 mm.
- A rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a power cord.
- Other accessories include a tote bag to carry the whole system and a cooler bag to keep milk fresh.
The Medela Freestyle is little more expensive than other electric pumps on the market. However, we love it because it features the 2-Phase Expression Technology, in addition to several amazing features:
- MyMedela app: Downloadable MyMedela app to help you with using the pump.
- Free Lactaction Consultant support: A free service that Medela provides to purchasers through the MyMedela app.
- Easy interaction with the backlit display and one-touch button:
- Built-in memory and timer for easy tracking: The MyMedela App also allows you to track your sessions over time.
- Battery Life: The rechargeable Lithion-Ion battery lasts up to 2 hours.
- Portable: The pump comes with a microfibre cooler carry bag for use while traveling and can be used to store milk.
- Super pump setting: You can pump more milk quicker using Maximum Comfort Vacuum setting.
Despite its higher price and (slightly) heavier weight, lots of nursing mothers swear by the Medela Freestyle because it guarantees fast and safe breast milk expression on the go. It comes with lots of great advantages.
You don’t have to worry about finding a power source to operate The Medela Freestyle. The built-in battery is built to last up to 3 hours on a single charge. Unlike the Spectra 9 Plus, the Medela Freestyle’s power adapter can be used with dual voltage, so it’s an excellent choice for traveling moms because you can use it in any country.
The Medela Freestyle breast pump is designed for heavy-duty use. You can use it for double or single pumping, and the motor will not fail you. However, compared to the Spectra 9 Plus, this breast pump is a little bit noisier.
The Medela Freestyle offers 9 levels of suction. The levels are easy to control, thanks to the up and down buttons. When you first start using it, it will activate the letdown feature. This will allow for faster and lighter suction. After 2 minutes, the pump automatically switches to the expression mode, which is slower and more powerful.
Alternating between these 2 modes will stimulate the milk ducts as it mimics the natural suckling motion of the baby. You can switch faster to the expression mode using the button. The 2-Phase Expression Technology produces more milk in less time.
The backlit display features lots of cool information about your current breastfeeding session. You can see the speed and suction levels, time spent, letdown/expression indicator, battery life, and the power indicator if you use the adapter.
You can also save the latest settings by holding the memory button during the expression phase. This will allow you to use the pump according to the most convenient setting.
MyMedela app is a helpful tool for nursing moms because it offers information about how to use your electric pump, the best breast shield for you, and lots of useful instructions and tips that you will need while breastfeeding your child.
Despite all these cool advantages, the Medela Freestyle has a few disadvantages that you need to take into consideration.
- This pump is quite heavy. It weighs around 1lb, which makes it less portable than the Spectra 9 Plus.
- The Medela Freestyle is a usually a bit more expensive than the S9
- Like the Spectra 9 Plus, the speed and suction are controlled by a single button.
- The open-system pumping will keep the milk clean but requires more thorough cleaning than the closed-system.
The Spectra 9 Plus and Medela Freestyle are excellent electric pumps. The Spectra 9 Plus is more portable and lightweight, so it’s suitable for moms on the go. You can adjust the suction and massage levels for the most convenient experience.
If you need a stronger motor, you should go for the Medela Freestyle. The pump comes with 2 sizes of breast shields, and the built-in battery will last for up to 3 hours on a single charge.
However, the Medela Freestyle is heavier and more expensive. Nevertheless, the 2-Phase Expression technology will allow you to express more milk in a shorter time.