A Working Mom’s Spectra S1 Breast Pump Review

spectra reviewIt can be tough to choose a breast pump when you’ve never used one before, so it really helps to get input directly from other moms — and that’s why we’re bringing you this Spectra review, courtesy of CorporetteMoms reader Emily. We’re so glad she volunteered to share her experience with other readers!

Features of the Spectra S1 Breast Pump include:

  • Hospital performance
  • Adjustable suction and cycling in letdown and expression mode
  • Includes rechargeable battery, timer, and nightlight
  • Only weighs 4 lbs.

The Spectra S1 pump is available at Amazon ($189.99). This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

When we shared Reader R’s review of the Medela Sonata recently, Emily decided to contribute her own pump review and emailed us to say:

I wanted to offer to write a review of the Spectra S1 breast pump I just ordered, because so many readers seemed to enjoy the recent review of the Medela Symphony. (I know I did.) I just ordered the pump, paid out of my own pocket, because I wasn’t happy with my current pump. … I turn to crowd sourcing (including CorporetteMoms) when I need a new product, and wanted to pay it back.

Thank you so much, Emily, for sharing your Spectra S1 breast pump review!

Emily’s Spectra Review

Short and sweet: This pump promises a Hilton on the moon and delivers. Portable, very quiet, comfortable, and reasonably priced. I doubled the amount of milk I pumped in one week of use. If you want to know more, here’s the full story:

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Combination Feeding Tips: How to Feed Your Baby Both Breastmilk and Formula

combination feeding tips and tricks - how to feed your baby both breastmilk and formulaCombination feeding: A lot of moms do it, but for some reason there isn’t much advice out there for the mothers who feed their babies both breastmilk and formula (aka combo feeding, supplementation, and partial weaning). We’ve talked a lot about nursing and pumping, including nursing clothes for working moms and tips for pumping at the office, and when we recently asked what other kinds of feeding topics readers would like to see, the reader/commenter known as CPA Lady offered to write a post on combination feeding. We’re so glad we can share her experiences and advice! In this guest post, she explains her initial plans for breastfeeding and formula feeding, her decision to try combo feeding, details about her daughter’s feedings from birth to six months, and more. Thank you, CPA Lady! — Kate

Picture credit: CPA Lady. AWWWWW.

Background Info: When I First Considered Formula Feeding

I began maternity leave with my first (and only) child with the idea that I would give nursing a try, but I planned to wean entirely to formula by the time I returned to work at 12 weeks. I did not even consider combo feeding as a possibility, since all the literature I read had warnings that if you began supplementing, your supply would dry up. So I actually went into using formula expecting to exclusively formula feed. I found the website Fearless Formula Feeder helpful in figuring out how to navigate the world of formula.

Once I decided to try to combo feed, I flew by the seat of my pants, guided by absolutely nothing, because there was no real guidance that I could find. There were two sort-of-relevant pages in the 700-page What to Expect: The First Year (affiliate link) that I read over and over, desperate for any nugget of useful information. Most of what I found on the internet had the tone of “you should just try harder to breastfeed.” How helpful. So I ended up making it up as I went along.

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How to Prepare at Work—For Maternity Leave

How to Prepare at Work for Maternity Leave | maternity leave preparationWhat’s your best advice for how to prepare at work for maternity leave? What did you do — and how soon did you start your maternity leave preparation? (37 weeks? 39 weeks?) When did you hand off projects? For those of you who had your baby at 42 weeks, how did that affect the hand-off? For those of you who had your baby earlier than expected, how did that affect things?

Something you may or may not realize is that as you get closer to your due date, not only will you be more physically exhausted from carrying around your big belly, but your doctor may also want to see you very frequently, putting even more pressure on your schedule. (This is especially true if you’re older — for my second pregnancy, because I was over 34 when H was born, they wanted to see me once a week from week 32 onward.)

For my $.02, I would suggest starting a few things pretty early, maybe around 30-32 weeks:

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What to Wear to Work After Maternity Leave

What to Wear to Work After Maternity Leave | Tips for Working MothersWhat should you wear to work after maternity leave? We got an email a while ago from a reader who posed this interesting question. What is the “safest” choice to make so you look like a rational person who is not a sleep-deprived emotional wreck? Which clothes are best if you’re pumping at work? What will fit? These are my tips (and reasons) for what to wear to work after maternity leave, but I’m interested to hear what readers say also. (Psst: you may also want to check out the readers’ and my general tips for returning to work after maternity leave!)

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Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Fancy Diaper Bag When You Find Out You’re Pregnant

The case against fancy diaper bags | CorporetteMomsHere’s a fun question for you guys: what would you tell new moms NOT to buy? What did you buy that was a waste of money or a mistake for your family? For me, the big answer to this question is a fancy diaper bag — I now advise all of my friends to NOT buy a fancy diaper bag when they find out they’re pregnant.

(Pictured: a lovely $1400 Burberry diaper bag to consider if you don’t want to listen to this advice!)

All of my friends and I made this mistake: the second we found out we were pregnant we started looking for fancy diaper bags.  Resist the urge to do this! At least until after the kiddo is born and you’ve been using a diaper bag for a little bit of time and have a better sense of your needs (and the level of grossness that often comes with babies).  For example, the one that I bought (a very nice Rebecca Minkoff one that’s still available) I ended up hating, because I didn’t want a two-handled tote bag — one handle would fall off my shoulders, and I felt like the whole thing threw my balance off further, particularly if I was babywearing.  It also didn’t fit neatly over the stroller handles (or underneath in the basket) — in short, I used it about three times.

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Losing the Baby Weight

Losing the Baby WeightLadies, here’s a fun open thread for today: how did you lose the baby weight? If you haven’t yet (but have tried), what do you think the reason is? Have you discovered any new great recipes or workouts you love along the way?

For my $.02, I’m still struggling, I guess with weight that I originally put on when I was pregnant with my first (who was born in August 2011, so, uh, it’s technically still baby weight, right?). I did everything to lose weight after J was born — being in a new body at the same time I was going through my postpartum identity crisis seemed like adding insult to injury.

I finally got into a good groove right around the time we got pregnant with my second, H. During my first trimester, J was just starting a new “school year” at his daycare, and I caught at least two stomach bugs from him. As a result, I actually lost about 10 pounds during those few months. My doctors said not to worry, one telling me cheerfully, “You have a very efficient little parasite in there!” I was already so overweight that minimal weight gain during my pregnancy was the goal anyway. I gained 20 pounds after that point — before delivering a 10 pound, 2 oz. baby. After H, I fell into a good weight training regimen and lost more weight — then hit a stressful patch last summer and gained a ton of it back… and then tore my ACL on vacation in November, which at least put the focus on food.

Going back even further than THAT, though, I had lost/maintained a healthy weight for years when I was in BigLaw — but when I left my firm (ending my nightly healthyish Seamless dinners for 1) and got married, and started drinking a glass of wine (or more) with dinner most nights, that was when the real weight creep started. I never really found my “healthy” groove, if that makes sense.

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