Do You Really Need A Pumping Bra For Spectra?

Getting a hands-free pumping bra for Spectra can make a world of difference for new mamas. But is it REALLY A MUST-HAVE? In this article I’m going to share my opinion on pumping bras for Spectra pump and whether they are splurge-worthy.

Do You Really Need A Pumping Bra For Spectra_

I’ll let you in on a secret: ‘Parenting’ is just another word for multitasking.

Once you become a parent, your life is full of moments when you just wish you had an extra pair of hands so you could get more work done!

At least that’s what I wished for when I pumping using my Spectra S1 Plus or nursed my newborns!

I wanted more hands when I used the breast pump so I could write an email or just fold the laundry. Heck, there were times I wanted to just give my tired arms a teeny-tiny break and just be comfortable!

Instead I was sitting there and holding the bottles and waiting for them to fill up with my breastmilk.

I started to look out for a hands-free pumping bra that would work with the Spectra breast pump and I found out that lots of pumping bras are actually not compatible with Spectra, because of its unique larger flanges!

Most of the regular affordable pumping bras do not fit Spectra’s shields, not even the Medela pumping bras…

After thorough research, I found out there are (only) 4 amazing Spectra pumping bras, that fit its large flanges without any drips and messes. But they are also a bit more expensive than regular mom’s bras.

If you’re here, you are probably, just like me, wondering whether this hands-free pumping experience is worth that extra money? Do you REALLY need a pumping bra for Spectra?

Everything depends on:

  • How frequently you’re using this breast pump,
  • If you don’t mind holding the bottles even for 30 minutes during each pumping session;
  • Whether you want to multitask or not.

If you plan to exclusively express using Spectra pumps (or mix breastfeeding and bottle-feeding), here are some things you need to know so you can have the best hands free pumping experience.

This article is not a substitute for medical advice.

Do I Really Need A Hands Free Pumping Bra For Spectra S1 & S2?

Spectra is right now one of the most popular (and highly recommended) breast pumps, and lots of moms who have bought it are wondering: Do I really need a hands free pumping bra for the Spectra electric breast pump? Couldn’t I just use an all-in-one nursing bra instead?

Speaking from my experience, you DO NEED a pumping bra for Spectra, if you want to have your hands free to do other tasks, instead of just holding the breast shields.

Especially if you’re planning to use Spectra often (for example for exclusive pumping) then I can guarantee you it will be SO ANNOYING to hold these shields and bottles. Just imagine pumping 8 times per day (for a newborn) and holding everything for 20-30 minutes every time.

And it’s not only about your hands getting tired. It’s also about pumping efficiency. You need a good latch – the pumps need to stay tight on your nipples for optimal suction and good milk volume.

This is another reason why Spectra pumping bra is a good investment. It will hold the shields in proper position and make sure they stay snuggly pressed against your boobs the whole time for satisfying milk output.

And of course pumping bra frees your hands to do some other tasks – which is SO CONVENIENT. I would say that if you have more than 1 child, want to get back to work (even if you’re working from your home office) or simply want to have a moment for yourself while pumping, the bra for Spectra is a must have.

Why would you sit there for 20 minutes and hold the bottles, if you can use this time for reading, having a meal, playing with your kiddos or simply scrolling through Pinterest looking for new nursery decor ideas?!

Do I need a pumping bras for Spectra

FYI, you can’t use a regular breast pump bra with Spectra because its flanges won’t fit through the holes in cups. Nursing bras are also a no-go, because they only have clip down cups, they don’t have openings in cups for flanges at all.

There’s just one more question: how many pumping bras would I need?

This again highly depends on how frequently you’re expressing your breast milk with Spectra (and how quickly they get stained with milk). But in general, having 2-3 Spectra pump bras is the best option, so you could always have at least one at spare, when the other one is in the laundry.

To sum up, getting the best pumping bras for Spectra will make pumping easier for you, and less time-consuming.

Few Words On My Experience With Spectra

And though I had questions about pumping bras, I was totally confident about the choice of my Spectra pump. And since we are on the subject, I should probably make a small confession.

There may or may not have been moments in my breastfeeding journey where I shamelessly admitted that I loved my Spectra and Spectra pumping bra more than my husband.

But, before you judge me for infidelity, hear me out:

Spectra isn’t just popular because it’s a hospital-grade pump that is portable, it is worth every penny. For one, it is one of the most reliable electric breast pumps available today.

It gave me what I needed! Not only did it make pumping milk quick and pain-free, thanks to the adjustable settings I could set the right vacuum strength and speed. It was also light and affordable and the closed system, timer, and nightlight were lifesavers.

But here’s why I really loved it. It was definitely quieter than my husband whose smallest movements made the baby wake up.

And what’s more important, Spectra helps me to boost my breastmilk production (yes, I was using this pump to deal with low milk supply).

There was only one drawback: my hands were occupied the whole time. Back then, even the best pumping bra didn’t work with Spectra. The one-piece Spectra flange made it incompatible with most pumping and nursing bras like the Medela pumping bras and even my nursing bra.

As amazing as they are, Spectra pumps are designed differently. The breast pump flanges on Spectra pumps are different than other popular electric pumps like Medela or Lansinoh because they are connected.

So the question remained: Is there a bra compatible with my Spectra pump?

And the answer is actually simple: Yes, there are nursing and pumping bras that are compatible with the Spectra pump.

Hands free pumping IS POSSIBLE with your Spectra breast pump which means you CAN MULTITASK while expressing breast milk!

Pumping bra for Spectra S1

Advantages Of The Right Bra For Pumping

A hands free pumping bra for Spectra made things easy for me and gave me the best hands free pumping experience.

Here’s why:

A good pumping bra can really help you enjoy hands-free pumping and enjoy a comfortable breastfeeding journey! And if you are a mom who is using her Spectra pump every day or even is exclusively pumping then yes, you need nursing and pumping bras that are Spectra S1 and S2 compatible. Otherwise, you would have to spend a lot of time holding the flanges with connected bottles.

After being able to pump hands-free, I also discovered other benefits.

The pumping bra supports the breasts during the pumping session. For many moms, the breasts can get quite heavy and uncomfortable when full of milk, and the pumping bra offers support during the pumping session and helps relieve the pressure from the back.

Many moms don’t realize that the back pain they have during pumping is actually due to a lack of support.

Comfort, removable padding, the right fit, and stretchy fabric that adjust to the changing sizes are all features that make good pumping bras, great. Here are some recommendations for a good Spectra pump bra.

How Do You Use Pumping Bras With Spectra?

As a newbie, my first question was how do you put a flange in a pumping bra?

And now as a mom with two years of exclusively pumping with the best pumping bra, I can tell you that there are quite a lot of great pumping bras that work well with Spectra S1 and S2.

And while they may differ in some features, like fits, clasps, and material, the Spectra specific pumping bras come with slits that are large enough for the flanges to fit through. Simply unclip the top cover and slip the flanges through making sure the breast pump shields sit properly on your breasts.

So how do hands free pumping bras work?

Well, the elastic in the opening of the slit and hole make sure the bottles and shields stay in place, allowing you to go about your day hands free.

Pumping bra that fits Spectra breast shield

Should A Pumping Bra Be Tight Or Loose?

Sizing a bra is hard. Finding a pumping bra during postpartum and nursing is even tougher. So how should you choose a pumping bra? Should it be tight or loose?

Actually neither. The same rule that applies to a regular bra applies to a pumping bra. Your pumping bras should fit you perfectly and be comfortable to wear every day.

Here are a few things you need to make sure of:

Pick a pumping bra for Spectra that provides excellent support and doesn’t dig into your skin.

These bras use stretchy fabric and multiple hook and loop closures to find the right fit.

Make sure the pumping bra for Spectra gives you proper support and keeps the flanges in place during your pumping session.

How To Use Spectra S1 Double Pump Without Bra

If you plan to pump occasionally, you can use the Spectra S1 double pump without a bra. Just adjust the settings and hold the flanges with bottles against your breasts. It can be a bit tricky and inconvenient which is why I highly recommend a Spectra compatible pumping and nursing bra.

Can You Use Medela Pumping Bra With Spectra Pump?

The Medela pumping bra is a great pumping bra, and pumping moms love the fact that it is soft, easy to use and strapless. However, unfortunately, you can not use it with the Spectra pump because it has smaller holes that do not fit the Spectra flanges.

To be compatible with a Spectra pump, the slits in the pumping bra have to be large enough to fit Spectra flanges and hold them in place during the pumping session.

Can You Pump With A Regular Nursing Bra?

No, you can’t pump with a regular nursing bra with Spectra. That is because it will not hold the flanges. A nursing bra unclasps or unclips to expose the whole breast directly and is great for skin-to-skin contact when nursing the baby.

On the other hand, a pumping bra has slits or holes that allow the flanges or shields to slide through. It then offers support and ensures the shields stay in place while you pump. If you plan to exclusively pump milk, then you need hands free pumping bras.

Having said that there are 2in1 nursing and pumping bras that are compatible with the Spectra flanges and have a dual clasp design. These are the perfect choice for moms who are mixing breastfeeding and pumping, or want to pump on one breast while nursing on the other.

How Many Pumping Bras Do I need?

Pumping mothers need to start by investing in one good pumping bra for Spectra S1 or S2 that fits comfortably. This is enough if you plan to pump occasionally but if the plan is to exclusively pump, it is a good idea to have at least 3 pumping bras so you always have a spare one and don’t have to do the laundry everyday.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.

Sources of pictures: All pictures belong to Kindred Bravely brand.

About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

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