Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about pumping, breastfeeding, or simply caring for your baby, don’t worry—odds are we’ve had them too. Look below to find answers to our most commonly asked questions, some helpful breastfeeding resources, and more details on our Natural Nursing Technology. Have a question you don’t see answered? Just give us a call or send a message—we’re here to help.

Customer care is available 8 am EST – 5 pm EST Monday – Friday.

What kind of information are you looking for?

Natural Nursing Technology

What is Natural Nursing Technology?

Natural Nursing Technology is Spectra’s set of unique features that mimics as closely as possible the experience of natural breastfeeding. From the gentle Massage Mode, to the adjustable suction levels, to the discreet and convenient operation, each unique feature mimics as closely as possible the natural experience of breastfeeding.

What’s a closed-system?

Standard on every Spectra model, a closed-system electric breast pump collects milk in a completely secured environment, free from contact with outside contaminates. This keeps the small tubing that leads to the pump’s motor 100% clean, protecting your pump, your milk, and your baby from harmful bacteria.

Are the suction levels adjustable?

Absolutely. Spectra’s double electric breast pumps combine adjustable suction levels (in both expression and massage mode) with easy-to-use buttons so moms can make the most out of every session.

How quiet is the motor?

Thanks to noise-reduction technology, we’ve made the motor as quiet as a mouse (45 Db) without sacrificing any pumping power. Now you can pump efficiently with complete privacy—in the office, on the go, or at home.

Our Pumps

How can I get a Spectra Breast Pump?

Spectra breast pumps, collection kits and storage accessories can be purchased online at our online store at Our products are also available at select retail sites. Please contact our toll-free Customer Care hotline at 855-44MOMBABY (446-6622) or see our website for the most recent list of retail locations and DME (Durable Medical Equipment) suppliers.

How do I assemble my pump?

For the Spectra S2, Spectra S1, Spectra 9Plus, start by taking the prong portion adapter and snapping into the power cord until you hear a loud snap. Attach the power cord into the pump by pressing firmly until you hear a click. Plug the pump into a working outlet and press the “On” button. If your pump has a rechargeable battery please make sure to charge for 4 hours before use.(9Plus/S1) You will not want to charge your pump more then 4 hours as doing so will wear down the battery. The battery will last 3 hours of pumping time. For the DEW 350, you will just need to plug the pump into the wall as it is a one piece attached power cord and flip the switch on the back of the pump to turn it on.

How do I use my pump?

Press the on button, your pump will power-up in expression mode. To put the pump into massage mode, push the three-wave button. Massage mode helps facilitate your let-down. Some moms will get a let-down in 30 seconds, and others will take a couple of minutes. You can massage the breast to help stimulate your let-down as well. The massage mode is set to 70, and is not adjustable.

You can adjust the suction strength by pressing the up and down buttons, it can adjust from levels 1 to 5. Adjust this based on your comfort level. After you achieve let-down, you will want to press the three-wave button to put it back into expression mode. In expression mode, you will be able to adjust the cycles every minute, up or down, going between 38 and 54 cycles/minute. You can adjust the suction strength from level 1 to 12 which is measured in mmHg: level 12 will reach 250mmHg. Adjust this to your comfort level.

The S2/S1 will remember your settings automatically for your next session. If you want to start pumping on different settings to those that you finished with in your previous session, adjust the settings before you start expressing. Some moms can get multiple let-downs, so going back and forth is recommended if needed.

The pink(S2) or blue(S1) button will adjust the nightlight to two different levels for night time use.

How do I clean my pump?

You can wipe the casing with an antibacterial wipe, as well as the outside of the tubing if it collects lint. You will never need to wash the inside of your pump or tubing, as it is a closed-system.

Should the pump automatically shut off?

The pump will automatically shut off after 30 minutes of pumping time for safety purposes.

How long does the battery last and what do the bars mean?

You can charge your battery in the S1PLUS and 9Plus models for four hours—do not charge them longer than this as it can wear down the battery life. When fully charged, the S1 and 9Plus hold 3 hours of power.

The bars indicate how much expression time remains on the battery’s charge; one bar equals one hour. If the battery indication is flashing, it means the battery is low and should be recharged.

What voltage are the pumps?

The S1/S2/9Plus Pumps are 100-240V dual voltage and are international compatible. You will just need the plug converter of the country you are traveling to. The DEW 350 is 120V.

What are the differences between the Spectra S1 and S2?

Both the S1 and the S2 models feature the same Spectra 3.5 pound, hospital-strength electric breast pump and 24/28mm double collection kit. The S2 is pink and must be plugged into a wall during use, whereas the S1 model is blue and includes a rechargeable battery.

Our Accessories

How do I assemble my accessories?

n your collection kit you will have 2 bottles, 2 backflow protectors, 2 valves, 2-24mm flanges and 2-28mm flanges, and 2 sets of tubing. Attach the tubes onto the ports of your pump: for double pumping, remove cap/plug from the port and attach both tubes; for single pumping, plug one side with cap and attach a tube to the other side. For the backflow protector, assemble by folding the white membrane over the smaller casing and then push the larger and smaller casings of the backflow protector together. You will then attach the backflow protector to the tubing, and attach your flange to the backflow protector. Attach your valve to the bottom of the flange. It will either be the white duck bill valve or the blue valve with white membrane. These are just two different designs—they both provide the same function. Screw the bottle onto the flange. After pumping, screw the caps on to the bottles and follow proper milk storage guidelines. For the DEW 350 pump You will follow the same setup, except you will attach the filter and connecting hoses instead of the backflow protector to the ports.

What size flange comes with the pump?

The 24 and 28mm shields will come with the S1 and S2 pumps. The standard 24mm shields will come with the 9Plus. For additional size shields please visit our store.

What size flanges does Spectra carry?

Spectra carries the standard 20mm, 24mm,  28mm, and the 32mm flanges/shields. We also have a one-size massager insert that, when used with the 24mm shield, becomes a 23mm. And when used with the 28mm shield, it becomes a 27mm.

How do I understand if I am using the correct flange size?

Sometimes it can be difficult to know the correct size flange you are ahead of time, unless you’ve used a breast pump before. Your flange size has nothing to do with your breast size. The size of your nipples will determine your flange size. Some moms will experience nipple swelling while pumping, so it’s important to observe how your nipples look during a pumping session. The size of your flange is important for comfort and efficient pumping. While pumping, your nipple should not rub or feel squished inside the flange tunnel. All of your nipple should fit into the flange tunnel and move in and out freely. If you feel any discomfort or nipple pain or nipple blanching (turning white) while pumping, you may need a larger flange. Some moms may need a different flange size on each breast and this can change over time. To determine your flange size please see a Lactation Consultant.

Are all of the collection kits and storage containers BPA-free?

Yes! All Spectra Baby USA storage containers and parts that come in contact with breast milk are BPA/DEHP free.

Breast Pumping

Why have a massage mode and an expression mode?

The quick action Massage Mode will help stimulate your let-down, mimicking natural experience of nursing. The Expression mode provides a steadier draw, like your baby, to empty your breasts quickly.

The easy-to-use buttons on your pump make it easy to create a pumping program that matches natural rhythm of your body.

When should I switch to expression mode?

Once you get your let-down on massage mode, switch to expression mode. The time it takes to achieve let-down will vary from mom to mom: for some it takes 30 seconds, others 5 minutes. Relax, breathe, and think of your little one—it will happen before you know it.

What are the advantages to a digital screen?

You can see the pump time, cycle, level of strength and adjust more accurately.

Going Back to Work

How should I store my breast milk?

You can store breast milk at room temperature (86F) for 4 hours, 4-6 hours at 79F, or 24 hours at 60F. In the fridge, (32F-39F) you can store up to 8 days. In the freezer, compartment style (contained in a fridge), up to two weeks. A self-contained freezer will be 3-4 months, and a deep freezer at 0F you can store 6-12 months.

How do I heat up my breast milk to feed my baby?

Run your breast milk under warm water to warm it up. If warm water is not available, you can heat up water on the stove to warm, remove the pan from the stove, and then place milk in the warm water. Never warm directly on the stove, never microwave, and always test your milk before feeding to baby. After thawing milk, you can store it in fridge for no more than 24 hours. Never refreeze thawed milk.

What can I do to increase my milk supply?

Factors affecting milk amount:

  • Length of time since last feeding/pumping session: If exclusively breastfeeding, pumping within ½-1 hour after a feeding will yield about half of a full feeding.
  • Time of the day: You will produce more the morning, as your prolactin levels are the highest in the morning.
  • Flange size: You will want to make sure you are in the proper flange size.
  • Practice with your pump: Sometimes it takes 1-2 weeks to adjust to your new pump, even if you’re only switching brands.
  • Your mood: When you are relaxed, you will be able to pump more milk.
  • Breast massage: Massaging the breast stimulates let-down.
  • Dual-phase pumping: Dual pumping stimulates more milk. Lean forward to allow more milk to flow into the bottles. If single pumping, switch breasts every 5-7 mins.


I plug my pump in but it’s not turning on.

Please try the following steps: unplug the power cord from the pump. Now your power cord separates into two pieces. You will want to remove the detachable prongs from the end that plugs into the wall. You should now have the pump, power cord, and prong adapter separated into three pieces. Reattach the prong piece, sliding it on to the end of your power cord pushing it down as hard as you can. You want to push it all the way down until you hear a loud snap. Plug your power cord into your pump, pushing it into the port until you hear it click. Then, plug your pump into a working outlet—try a second outlet in your house that you know is working. Hold the power button for 30 seconds and let go. Give it 15 seconds and see if your pump now turns on.

My pump won’t charge!

Please try the following steps: unplug the power cord from the pump. Now your power cord separates into two pieces. You will want to remove the detachable prongs from the end that plugs into the wall. You should now have the pump, power cord, and prong adapter separated into three pieces. Reattach the prong piece, sliding it on to the end of your power cord pushing it down as hard as you can. You want to push it all the way down until you hear a loud snap. Plug your power cord into your pump, pushing it into the port until you hear it click. Then, plug your pump into a working outlet—try a second outlet in your house that you know is working. You should now see a battery symbol on your pump. Hold the power button for 30 seconds and let go. Give it 15 seconds and see if your pump now turns on. If it is charging the battery symbol should go away on the screen when plugged in.

I have no or low suction.

Please try these steps: Make sure your white duckbill valves are attached and pushed fully up at the bottom of your flange where the bottle screws on. Also check your duckbill valve for tears. Make sure the opening at the end is closed when not in use. If you need to replace your valves (we recommend every 3-4 months) you can find them on our store page. If you use the blue valve with white membrane in place of the duckbill valve, ask yourself: Is the membrane in good shape? Is the membrane covering the blue surface and flat? If you are single pumping, make sure your air cap is pushed fully on. Are your breast flanges/shields the right size? If you are not sure, consult a licensed lactation counselor. Check your tubing to see if there are any holes in the tubing. Attach the tubing to the base of your pump and feel the suction. Is it too strong? If you are getting a strong suction we know that the pump motor is working well. It will be one of your accessories that will be the culprit. If you add your backflow protector, is the membrane moving? Are the movements soft or strong? If all is working well there, then attach the flange. Check to see if you are having the same issue on both sides. Do you single pump? Try swapping out your parts from one port to the other—does this change which side was not working if only one was the issue? Have you tried increasing the suction and cycle level? Lastly, what is your wash routine like? Are you only hand washing all your parts and never washing or doing anything to the tubing? Are you using only our parts? Have you replaced your parts within the last 3 months from our website? If you have further questions, please visit the contact page, we’d love to help.

I am experiencing pain when I pump.

Are your breast flanges/shields the right size? Try turning the suction level down. You shouldn’t experience pain while pumping. If you aren’t sure if the flange/shield size is right, consult a licensed lactation consultant or go to our contact page, we’re here to help.

How do I sanitize?

Sanitizing parts for the first time—You will want to boil the plastic pieces of your collection kits for 3-5 minutes, this will include the bottles, bottle caps and lids, the flanges, and the plastic casings of the backflow protector. Bring water to a boil and then remove from the stove before putting your parts in for 3-5 minutes. Hand wash the duckbill valves and white membrane of the backflow protector with warm, soapy water. You will not need to sterilize the small tubing as it’s a closed-system pump. Allow your parts to completely air-dry before assembling, or dry with a clean cloth.

Washing the parts after each use—After each use you will want to wash all parts with warm, soapy water, except for the small tubing. Air-dry all parts completely before reassembling, or dry with a clean cloth. You may refrigerate your parts in between uses if you don’t have access during the day to a water source, and follow the washing instructions later that day when you have access to water. Make sure all parts are washed and dried thoroughly following the instructions above, for best performance. It is not recommended to use a sterilizer, microwave, steam bag, or dishwasher dry cycle as part of the cleaning process.

All parts are covered for 90 days. It is recommended to replace your parts, specifically the backflow protectors and valves every 3-6 months depending on use as they are the heart of the pump and will wear down over time.

If your baby is in NICU, or you are experiencing thrush, please consult your doctor or lactation consultant on sterilizing/washing instructions.

Are all the parts dishwasher safe?

The breast shield kits are dishwasher safe, but it is best to hand wash all parts. Wash them with warm, soapy water and allow them to air-dry. The small tubing should never be washed.


Will my health insurance cover the cost of a Spectra Breast Pump?

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (often referred to as Obamacare or the Health Reform Act) now, by law, requires private health insurance carriers to provide breast pumps to pregnant and nursing mothers at no cost. There are exceptions for a few insurance companies, however, who are temporarily “grandfathered” until their policies are expired. In general, they are required to provide pregnant and nursing mothers with “breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling.” The insurance providers are not permitted to charge a co-payment for any of the supplies or services they cover. They should also cover shipping for the approved supplies.

What lactation services and supplies are covered by Insurance?

The provision states: “Pregnant and postpartum women will have access to comprehensive lactation support and counseling from trained providers, as well as breastfeeding equipment.” It is important to understand that each health care insurance plan will determine their specific lactation support and services, as well as breast pumps and supplies. Please consult your health plan provider to find out your coverage.

How does a health insurance plan deliver breastfeeding supplies to a member?

Each insurance plan independently determines their method of delivery of breastfeeding supplies. Your insurance plan provider is your primary resource for understanding the benefits of your policy and how to obtain your supplies. Please reach out to us if you need any guidance in this area.

Do the requirements for health insurance providing breast pumps vary by state?

No. Requirements do not vary by state, but they will very by insurance company and policy.

Where can I access additional information?

You may also want to check with your health insurance provider for their preventive services policy. You can also reach out to our team to guide you in the right direction for getting the information you need.

Is Spectra considered a hospital grade pump?

No, for insurance billing it will be considered personal use and billed under the E0603 code. We do have hospital strength pumps and they are closed system, but for billing purposes we do not carry hospital grade breast pumps.


Do I need to register my pump?

No, you do not need to register your pump. If you have any issues within 90 days (for parts) or 2 years (for electric pump) from date of purchase, file a warranty claim.

How do I submit a warranty claim?

When needing to submit a warranty claim please go to the warranty page.

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