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If your baby is struggling to breastfeed, or if you need to bottle up your breast milk for any reason (because maybe you need to share feeding duties with your partner, or need a steady supply of milk for when you’re heading back to work), then investing in a breast pump could help make your life a lot easier. There are two on the market right now that are quickly gaining popularity with moms and dads, so this guide is designed to give you an honest review of the Ameda Finesse vs Spectra S2 to see which one you might like best.
Breast pumps are great if you’re not quite ready to swap to baby formula, as they’re so easy to use to express your milk. You can then store your breast milk in the fridge for later use, or for someone else to feed your baby with. However, they can feel quite strange to use when you’re first getting used to one. The pump can be a bit difficult to control, but the more you use one, the easier it will get. To help, look for a breast pump that’s light, compact and easy to carry around. But most of all – persevere.
We hope that by the end of this review you’ll have a much better idea of what both the Ameda Finesse and Spectra S2 can offer you, taking into account the price, design features, functionality and overall parents’ rating. Having a newborn is a tricky time in every moms’ life – whether it’s your first or you’ve had a few children already, so we want to do all the hard work for you by putting everything you might need to know in one handy place.
- 1 The main differences between the Ameda Finesse and Spectra S2
- 2 Things to think about before buying a breast pump
- 3 Ameda Finesse vs Spectra S2 – Which is the better pick?
- 4 Ameda Finesse
- 5 Spectra S2
- 6 The verdict
- 7 FAQ’s about using your breast pump
- 8 Final thoughts
The main differences between the Ameda Finesse and Spectra S2
While both breast pumps have some similarities, there are some clear differences between the Ameda Finesse and Spectra S2 that make them stand out in their own right. It’s really important to know how they both differ from one another so that you can easily see which features will fit best into your lifestyle. We’ve put the main differences side by side in our handy list below.
The Ameda Finesse can be used with batteries, whereas the Spectra S2 is strictly plug-in.
The Spectra S2 comes with 24 and 28mm sized flanges, while the Ameda Finesse comes with two 25.0mm CustomFit flanges and two 30.5mm CustomFit flanges.
The Ameda Finesse is slightly lighter at 1.1lbs, while the Spectra S2 weighs 2.5lbs.
Things to think about before buying a breast pump
If you’re looking for the right breast pump for you and your family, then we’ve got some tips and hints to help you get started with where to look. Make sure you consider the following before making your purchase.
How often do you plan to use your breast pump?
There are two main types of breast pump available – manual and electric. Both the Ameda Finesse and Spectra S2 are electric models, but there are pros and cons to using both a manual and an electric unit.
Firstly, a manual breast pump is best if you have a well-established milk supply and plan to be at home with your baby most of the time. A manual breast pump takes longer to express your milk, so it works well as a relief for engorged breasts, or if you’re at home and have more time to pump manually.
An electric breast pump works better if you have limited time and need to express your breast milk quickly. It’s also best if you’re needing to spend more time away from your baby – for example if you have to be at work for long periods of the day. If your milk supply is low, opt for an electric model.
With all of this in mind, the breast pump you choose will need to work for your routine, so the above should give you some good advice to start off with.
Do you need to find a breast pump on insurance?
You might not have considered claiming a breast pump on insurance, but the option is definitely there if you need it. There are loads of companies popping up that work to make life easier for you, and many of these do all the paperwork, liaise with your doctor and make the claim on your behalf. Aeroflow Breastpumps and Edgepark are two great brands we love. You can choose from a whole range of makes and models, including the Ameda Finesse and Spectra S2, so it’s well worth looking into to see if claiming might work for you.
The Affordable Care Act sets out that health insurance companies are required to cover breast pumps, so don’t panic if you’re worried you won’t be eligible to claim.
Make sure your breast pump is comfortable
This is so important. When looking around for breast pumps, make sure that the models you’re interested in are the correct shape and size for your body and lifestyle needs. Double check the size of the flanges and tubes, and make sure the materials used are comfortable. You can find silicone flanges for additional comfort if your breasts are feeling sensitive.
Ameda Finesse vs Spectra S2 – Which is the better pick?
While both the Ameda Finesse and Spectra S2 have their pros and cons, we’re here to delve further into the features and benefits of each one, taking a closer look at the in-depth specifications. Both are great models – there’s no doubt about that, but by reading both reviews you’ll definitely start to form an opinion of which one will work best for you and your baby. Our expert moms and dads are familiar with both models and have done their research to give you an unbiased comparison that will hopefully benefit you when it comes to making your decision.
The Ameda Finesse is a hospital grade breast pump, meaning it’s one of the most powerful models on the market. It comes with so many attachments and parts to get you going on your way, including a tote bag to carry everything, nursing pads to stop uncomfortable leaking, storage bags to keep your breast milk fresh, and CustomFit flanges in two different sizes for the perfect fit.
One of the great things about the Ameda Finesse is that it can be used with batteries to make it more portable. This is a great option if you’re regularly on the go and need to take the breast pump with you. It’s also super lightweight, weighing only 1.1lbs to make it a convenient travel option. Many other breast pumps can feel bulky and heavy, so this is a huge plus.
Another huge pro is that everything in the Ameda Finesse comes already sterilized. This gives you the peace of mind that you don’t need to worry about germs and other nasties while using it. It’s also a closed system, which basically means that the breast milk is kept away from the motor of the pump and is transferred directly into the collection container. This ensures that your milk isn’t exposed to harmful bugs and viruses, and helps to prevent the build-up of mold.
One of the downsides is that you need to constantly change the dials before switching between the vacuum and speed settings. This can get a bit annoying as it’s not always easy to remember what your preferred setting was, so it does require a bit of playing around with the pump to get to your desired suction levels.
Hospital grade breast pump; the strongest grade on the market.
HygieniKit® Milk Collection System
Comes with an assembled dual kit
Operates on a closed system to prevent mold and protect from viruses.
Features adjustable speed and suction, making it easy to set pump to perfectly fit your comfort, time and milk.
Includes a convenient Dottie tote bag for travel.
Also includes sample packs of their NoShow Premium Disposable Nursing Pads to prevent leaking that can stain your clothes, and Store N Pour Breast Milk Storage Bags for convenient storage of breast milk.
Comes with two 25.0mm CustomFit flanges and two 30.5mm CustomFit flanges.
Features independent speed and suction controls.
Super lightweight at 1.1lbs.
Can be used with batteries to make it more portable.
Everything comes already sterilized, leaving you with one less job to do.
It comes with a guide that shows you how to measure nipples to help with finding the right breast shield size for you.
Compact pump that can easily be stored in the bag.
It’s incredibly quiet, so won’t wake your baby.
When switching between letdown and expressing milk, you’ll need to adjust the vacuum and speed dials every time. This is quite inconvenient, and not always easy to remember what they were set at before.
The bag is a little bit small, so if you’re carrying everything it can be a squeeze.
Parents’ popular opinion on the Ameda Finesse
Unfortunately, the Ameda Finesse isn’t rated very highly on Amazon, only gaining 2.9 stars from real reviews. Don’t let this put you off though – there are loads of good things that mom and dads have to say, so we’ve narrowed down some of the best reviews.
One mom raved that she can get 7-8oz of breast milk in just 5 minutes with the Ameda Finesse. She also said that “with the two knobs on the pump you never have to have an uncomfortable pumping experience, especially since the speed and strength of suction are totally independent of each other”.
Another mom likes that “It’s small enough to fit into my work-bag and cute enough that I can leave on my desk”.
Very few parents commented about feeling any pain when using the breast pump – in fact, most had a very comfortable experience.
One parent made a valid comment that “The attachment to pump directly into bags is flimsy and difficult to use one-handed without a dedicated pumping bra.”
The Spectra S2 is another hospital grade machine that operates on a closed system. It’s also really easy to clean; you simply wipe the outer shell clean with anti-bacterial wipes, then sterilize the additional plastic parts in boiling water.
One of the best things about the Spectra S2 is that it’s super silent. The sound is equivalent to a library hushed whisper, so if you need to express your milk while your baby is fast asleep, you can do it without worrying they’ll wake up. There’s an auto-timer too, so if you forget to switch the breast pump off (which is likely when you’re needing to catch sleep as and when you can) then it will automatically turn off on its own, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.
While it doesn’t operate with batteries – which can be a bit of a downside if you need it to be fully portable or need it for long journeys, it does come with a multi-volt power adapter so you can use it in other countries. This is perfect if you travel often, and reduces the worry of you having to source a bespoke adapter before you head away. It only weighs 2.5 lbs too, so it’s really light and easy to carry around. This is really handy if you’re heading out on your own, as it can get a bit stressful having to carry a multitude of stuff.
Finally, it’s an incredibly powerful machine. If you’re struggling to express your milk naturally or with a manual pump, it has a maximum suction strength of 280mmHg (+/- 15), which means you’ll express more milk in a quicker period of time. This will leave you with more time to care about the important stuff, like bonding with your baby and taking some time out for yourself.
Hospital grade breast pump; the strongest grade on the market. Has a maximum suction strength of 280mmHg (+/- 15).
Operates on a closed system to prevent mold and protect from viruses.
Features 12 different suction levels.
It comes with two different flange sizes – 24 and 28mm.
Super quiet motor; equivalent to a library hushed whisper.
Features an auto-timer so it shuts off on its own.
Easy to carry around at 2.5lbs.
Features a multi-volt power adapter for use in other countries.
Comes with the pump, two bottles, two breast shields, two suction tubes and flanges, and one AC-adapter.
It works at both a single and double breast pump.
There’s no need to charge.
It’s a very affordable option and available on insurance.
It’s super lightweight so a great option if you’re on the go.
It has a small light on the screen so you can use it at any time, even during the night.
No built-in rechargeable battery
Only comes in pink, which may not suit some moms.
Parents’ popular opinion on the Spectra S2
The Spectra S2 is a tried and tested breast pump, but what do real moms and dads really think? We’ve gathered a few online reviews from genuine parents who have used the Spectra S2 to see what they have to say. It’s currently rated 4.3 stars on Amazon.
One mom loves how quiet the Spectra S2 is – running on a quiet purr. She also loved that it comes with a nightlight that ensures that you won’t wake your baby up if you’re pumping at night.
Another parent loves that she could barely feel the pump in action – it feels really comfortable and gentle on her breasts.
It was called ‘the best pump out there’ by another happy mom.
One parent did say that the downfall is the lack of availability of accessories. You have to purchase most of them separately.
It really is a close call when it comes to the Ameda Finesse vs Spectra S2, but we think the Spectra S2 just edges it. When looking online there is absolutely no shortage of moms raving about how good it is. The Ameda Finesse does get a decent rating too, but when it comes to reviews they really do speak for themselves.
Both breast pumps have a range of great features and both are incredibly quiet. This is great news when you’ve got a sleeping baby that you don’t want to wake. They’re also super lightweight and easy to carry around, so if you class yourself as a busy working mom or someone who likes to get out and about, then either will work well for you. They also both work on a closed system, so there’s a reduced risk of transferring germs and bugs to your breast milk.
However, the reason the Spectra S2 is our winner is because of the entire look and feel. It’s a compact, attractive design that can be moved around with ease and is incredibly reliable – making it a great investment.
FAQ’s about using your breast pump
“How should I store my breast milk?”
Experts suggest that you can store breast milk at room temperature (86F) for 4 hours, at 79F for 4-6 hours, or at 60F for 24 hours. If you’re storing your breast milk in the fridge with an average temperature of 32-36F, then you can leave them in there for up to 8 days – but no more. And you can also freeze breast milk for 3-4 months is it’s self contained. If you have a deep freezer at 0F, then you can store breast milk for 6-12 months.
“Is there anything I can do to increase my breast milk supply?”
Yes – there are many things that can definitely help. For starters, try to keep yourself relaxed when you are using your breast pump, as this will help you pump more milk. Massaging the breast also stimulates let-down, which means your milk is ready to flow. Try doing this before you start pumping.
The time of day you pump also has a significant impact on your breast milk supply, as research shows that your prolactin levels are highest in the morning, making this the perfect time to use your pump. And last but not least, keep practising with your breast pump to help you adjust, as it can take a couple of weeks for you to get used to it.
“How long should I pump for?”
The average pumping session lasts for around 10-15 minutes, but if you’ve had no luck during this time with expressing your milk then have a break after 20 minutes of trying. Give yourself time to relax before giving it another go in another hour, or once your baby has had their feed. You may need to give your body additional time to adjust to using a breast pump, but like we said earlier try persevering as you will eventually see results.
“How should I clean my breast pump?”
Clean the outside of the pump and the outside tubes with an antibacterial wipe to get rid of any surface germs. To sanitize the plastic parts that come with both the Ameda Finesse and Spectra S2, pop them in boiling water for around 3-5 minutes. To clean the valves, hand wash them in warm, soapy water and leave all parts to air dry completely before you reassemble the breast pump. Or if you’re in a rush, clean them thoroughly with a clean cloth.
“What is a ‘flange’?”
A flange is very simply the plastic covers that go over your breasts. When you express milk, the pump pulls the nipples into the flange, so it’s really important that you choose a breast pump that fits comfortably or expressing your milk will start to become a chore.
We hope this review has helped you get more clarity on choosing between the Ameda Finesse and Spectra S2. They are both worthy models that will suit you and your baby, but as ever this is only a guide and the choice is 100% with you. We’d love to know which one you went for – let us know how you got on.
If you have any questions then feel free to pop them in the comment section below – our expert moms and dads are more than happy to help! And if you have anything else you’d like us to review, let us know and we’ll see what we can do.
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- How to Find the Best Breast Pump – Ultimate Buying Guide