Confused About How to Use Spectra S2? Here Are Some Tips for You

The Spectra S2 is a great machine that helps lactating mothers with breastfeeding. It can help you increase your milk expression and provide enough supply for your baby. The whole Spectra family is amazing, but this article will focus solely on the S2 model.

My name is Sharon Dunn and I will share my experiences and advice with you. Want to find out about how to use Spectra S2? Keep reading below!

Not only can you use the Spectra for milk storage but you can also use it to increase milk production if you’re breastfeeding.

The pumping system of the Spectra has helped many women with their milk production. It sure did help me when my children were young. Find out more about the tips that will help increase your milk expression below.

Table of Contents

How to Set Up a Spectra S2: A Step-by-step Guide

  1. Assemble the Backflow Protector

The backflow protector stops the milk from flowing back into the tubes. It comes in a set of three parts that you assemble yourself. First, put the thin white part into the smaller transparent part and secure it properly. Then put them into the larger part and make sure it fits correctly. It should look like a spinning top when you are done. 

The Spectra S2 comes with its own backflow protector but you can purchase them from Amazon as well. If you purchase one elsewhere, make sure that it is medically approved and compatible with the Spectra S2. Onto step two!

  1. Connect One End of the Tubing to the Pump

It comes with two tubing pipes. The tubes can be attached to the port at the front of the machine. You can use one or both of the tubes at once according to your preference.

The tubing port comes with a small cap that you can use to cover a port if you want to single pump.

The tubes are made of silicone and can stick to anything from lint to hair, so make sure to keep them clean. They fit tightly on the port and you can just stick them on. You can also buy tubing of a different length from Amazon. 

  1. Connect the Other End to the Backflow Protector

The other end of the tubing should be connected to the backflow protector. Connect the open end of the tube to the narrow point head of the backflow protector. You have to stick it to the larger side with the narrow port that doesn’t contain the white membrane. 

For double tubing just take off the cap from the other port and follow steps 2 and 3.

  1. Assemble the Breast Shield, Valve, and the Bottle

The breast shields are placed on the breasts. These are also called the flanges. The suction is conducted through them. The breast shields come in different sizes. 

The perfect size will fit well on your breasts. If it hurts, then the shields are not the right size. Try replacing them– you can find these on Amazon. 

There are valves attached inside the bottles that are shaped like a duck’s bill. The valve is attached at the bottom of the flanges. You should secure it tightly. The valves create suction on your breasts to cause milk expression. 

Assembling the bottle doesn’t require much work. Just attach the valve properly to the flanges and screw on the bottle. You can use other wide-mouth bottles that fit the flanges with the Spectra S2 as well. 

  1. Connect the Breast Shield to the Backflow Protector

The last step of assembly is connecting the other end of the backflow protector to the back of the flanges in a little space. The larger port of the backflow protector goes into the flanges. Secure it tightly and you are done. The bottles come with lids that you can attach after you’re done pumping.

The backflow protector prevents milk from flowing into the tubing and makes the Spectra S2 a closed system. This is sanitary for you and the baby and can help prevent infections.

Different Uses of Spectra S2

  • Pumping for Breastfeeding

The Spectra S2 is used to pump for breastfeeding and, as we all should know, breastfeeding is much healthier. It helps to stimulate milk flow and aid breastfeeding of the baby. It has different modes that can be adjusted to ensure a steady flow of milk.

Breastfeeding is important for the baby and you need to have a steady supply of milk if you’re planning to do this. Spectra S2 can help you keep a steady supply of milk for your baby. You can use this machine to pump at your convenience to store up milk when you’re not nursing. The different modes can help you pick a suction style that you are comfortable with. You can single pump while nursing your baby on your other breast. This will prevent wasting milk. 

  • Pumping to Stimulate Milk Production

The settings of the S2 can be used to stimulate and increase milk production in lactating mothers. You can use the letdown mode that mimics a baby’s natural sucking to stimulate milk production.

Pumping milk at a stretch for an hour or two during the early hours of the morning or late at night can significantly increase milk production. This method is called power pumping. You should make a routine where you can power the pump at a specific time every day. Pumping late at night between 1 A.M. and 6 A.M. yields more milk because your body secretes high amounts of prolactin during that time. 

Make sure you don’t get up in the middle of pumping. Following this schedule for a few days will increase milk production.

  • Pumping to Increase Milk Supply

You can make routines of cluster pumping to increase milk supply. Cluster pumping comes from cluster feeding. Cluster feeding is when your baby wants to milk every 10- 15 minutes. Cluster pumping copies this pattern to signal your body that the baby needs more milk. 

You can cluster pump regularly for a few days for 2-3 hours at a time. You can start early in the morning and pump for 3 hours straight. Pump for 15 minutes, then take a rest for 30 minutes, then pump again for 10 minutes, and take a break for another 30 minutes. 

You should pump for a little while longer every time you’re done nursing. You should also pump for some extra time after each pumping session even if nothing comes out. This will signal your body that more milk needs to be produced.

  • Pumping to Empty Colostrum

Colostrum is the nutrient-rich milk that your body produces in small amounts during the initial stages of childbirth. This milk is dense and yellow in color. Colostrum is very important for the well-being and immunity of the baby. You can pump to store as much colostrum as you can when the baby arrives using the Spectra S2.

You can use S2 to pump the colostrum before the baby arrives as well. Be careful to properly store it so it doesn’t grow bacteria. 

Different Settings

The Spectra comes with different settings that you can use to control the suction. A great win for the new mom looking for a pump with lots of settings and options. These are given here in detail.

  • Night light: The Spectra S2 comes with a night light that you can turn on during nighttime pumping sessions. The brightness levels can also be adjusted.
  • Letdown Mode: The letdown mode mimics the natural sucking pattern of a baby and can be used to stimulate milk expression. You should not put the flanges on your breast and start on letdown mode or you might get hurt. 
  • Expression Mode: You can switch to expression mode once your milk starts flowing. Expression mode has a slower suction and speed. You can adjust the cycle length according to your preference.
  • Vacuum Settings: The Spectra S2 comes with 12 levels of vacuum strength. You should choose a level that you’re comfortable with and remember that a higher level does not equal more milk supply.

Some Additional Tips

  • Washing the Pieces

You should wash your pumping gear after each pumping session. This will prevent the growth of bacteria. You should also wash your hands before and after pumping. Clean the pumping utensils in warm soapy solutions and dry naturally. You don’t need to clean the tubing since the S2 is a closed system. 

  • Replacing the Valve

The valve needs to be replaced quite regularly. If there is a reduction in suction power or you notice less milk being expressed during pumping then it’s likely that your valve needs replacing. You can easily find these on Amazon. 

  • Replacing the Backflow Preventer

The Spectra S2 is a closed system. That means milk won’t go into the tubing and motor. The backflow preventer does this. Condensation or milk in the tubing indicates that the backflow preventer is not working and needs to be changed.

Conclusion

The Spectra S2 is a wonderful device that offers many settings and comfort for a steady milk supply. It uses a closed system and is BPA-free. It is very useful for lactating mothers who have a low milk supply. The machine contains many adjustable settings and the parts are also replaceable. 

You should be comfortable using it once you get started. Hopefully, this guide will help!

Sharon