My Little Miracle

The exciting story of God's very special gift to Mama & Papa…

Breast Pump Dilemma and Review of the Spectra M1

Here is my review on the Spectra M1 breast pump. I have been a Medela Freestyle user since Leo was born and I started pumping about 1 month after he was born to keep a stash when I get back to work. The Freestyle was lent to me by a dear friend that was not using it anymore. The Medela Freestyle costs around RM2000+ at normal price and maybe RM1800 was the lowest I have seen. It is the most expensive pump out there is the market and very well known internationally.

The Freestyle has served me well for 5 months and really helped me relieve engorgement. However, after using it for 5 months, I felt that it was not performing as well as it would like last time. Maybe I needed to send it for servicing? But it was not the case. Somehow along the way, this pump cannot empty my breast and it takes me 1 hour to pump! 1 hour is just too long for me and my nipple would hurt. So it was because of these incidents, I decided to buy a new pump. Also, the Freestyle was not my own, sooner or later I will have to return it and since I am going to be breastfeeding for longer now, I think investing in one will help. Besides, I will need it for the next baby as well, so no lost there!

Right! So let’s get to it!

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The M1 fits on the palm of my hand nicely.

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I love the Spectra M1. And to be honest, I think it is so much better than Medela. Even though Spectra is not a well-known brand, its performance is hospital grade. I bought it at the recent baby fair in Mid Valley at RM471 for a double pump. I was so surprised to know that it is so easy to be made a double pump. Just buy the extra kit (tubing, valve and bottle), unlike Medela which a single pump is only a single pump. Only their double pump can be used as singles. After using the Spectra for about a month now, I find that it is much better than the Freestyle, IN SO MANY WAYS!

Here is my personal comparison and how I find it. Comparison is also based on how I use them.

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Medela Freestyle

Spectra M1

Section level 6-7 (out of 10). Section level 1-2 (out of 5). Very good suction!
Slightly heavier and more parts (motor, tubes, breast shields, membranes, valves, connectors, back caps, bottles) Super lightweight and less parts (motor, tubes, breast shields, membranes, bottles)
More parts to wash! Only 2 parts to wash (breast shields, bottles)
Causes backflow of milk Backflow proof
Battery lasts pretty long. I charge every 2-3 days. Battery goes weak fast. I charge every day.
Very super expensive! Affordable
Fits most normal narrow neck bottles Fits wide neck bottles
Pump is less quiet and vibrates/shakes Pump is more quiet and hardly vibrates

That was my personal opinion on the comparison. I like the fact that it fits the Avent wide neck bottles and I do not have to transfer and pour them from one to another anymore. Another plus for me is the washing. I pump at work and only have to wash 2 parts! Saves time and I can get back to work quicker.

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I really didn’t mind charging the M1 more often because I only use it at work and I direct latch whenever Leo is with me.

The last MAJOR plus is the price. I mean, seriously… RM2000 for a pump? It makes me think that those who spend on formula are no different if we wanted to breastfeed to save money besides the health benefits. Servicing the Medela pump is expensive too and even the parts! I enquired about the connectors and one costs RM129! Whereas the Spectra only costs RM12! The reason I am writing this review is to create awareness on breast pumps and options for those who are not able to afford an expensive pump (like me) and those who are looking for a good, handy, effective pump. The Spectra M1 is value for money and good in handling most daily task.

I would only yield about 3-4 oz from both breasts with the Freestyle. But with the M1, I manage to yield 5-8 oz! Of course, my body needed to get used to the new pump as well. After a few tries, I saw the increase in yield and believe that the M1 could empty my breasts well.

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The first week yield.

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The second week yield. Getting more than the first 🙂

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TA-DAA!!! This was taken last week! Yield increasing slowly…

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Again, this is only me. Every woman’s body is different and so are our boobs! Do try out different pumps and see which works for you and how effective it can be.

What pump do you use? And have you ever faced such problems like mine? Do share it with me in the comments below.

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How much can one person take? (of no sleep)

Here’s my daily routine on a weekday

730-800am: We both get up at this hour usually. Days when I have to be at work by 730, I get up at around 630am.

800am: Change Leo’s diaper and bring him downstairs to get ready, kiss him goodbye and say a short prayer that he’ll be a good boy at daycare and papa to have a good day at work. Hang the laundry if I haven’t last night, then I will prep my lunch and get ready for work.

900-600pm: At work. Most days I have classes which require me to get moving and sweat. Lotsa energy output here with 6 classes/week.

700-830pm: I should be home by this time, some days can be earlier. Prep dinner and feed Leo. Most days he will eat with us, unless he’s cranky.

830-900pm: Leo’s bath time. Often as well, he have his bath past 9pm 😦

930-1000pm: Bedtime for Leo. After bath, I will have some downtime with him. Play with him for a bit, read to him, sing to him, just getting him ready to sleep. Once he’s ready, I will nurse him and he falls alseep.

1030pm: Start laundry and fold the current laundry, and then put them away. Then I will prep his daycare items for the next day (pour milk into his bottles, refill his diaper bag).

1100pm: If I have early workday the next day, I will prep my food at this hour. If not, I will wait for the laundry to be done. Sometimes I start baking at this hour to release stress.

12midnight: My turn to lay down and try to sleep. It’s my resolution to sleep before 12 daily but so far it’s impossible. For the past few weeks, Leo wake up again just when I wanted to go to bed. So I will nurse him again and he will continue sleeping.

1230-630am: I probably wake up at least 6 times within this hour. The first 2-3 times he wakes, I will pick him up and try to put him back to bed in his cot. By the 3rd time in exhausted! I lay him beside me to feed and then sleep. Not much sleep too coz he kicks me and moves around too much. Not to mention, I sleep like a log this way and my back would hurt.

And before you know it, the next day comes and the whole routine repeats itself…
Now tell me, what do u think?

I barely have time to turn on my computer or even read a book or even do something that I really wanted. By the one of the day I’m just tired. I actually realize that it gets worse because it is compounded over the days and weeks.  Often when asked “How do you feel now that baby is older? Is he sleeping well?” I tend to say yes, but in actually fact, I think I got used to it. I’m used to being tired, having dark circles under my eyes, cranky and feel sick at most mornings. People around me thinks I’m older than my age (NEVER I thought would have happen, but it did). Sleep deprivation is one of the worst conditions anyone can ever be in! Lack sleep=lack mood, low metabolism, low energy, bad skin, weight gain, low oxygen to the brain, unable to think properly/clearly, bad mood… you name it!

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I wished I had more time to spend with my family. Quality time and just being stress free/away from typical daily duties. Times where I do not feel tired. Time used for social rather than catching up with sleep. So why do I do what I do?

I do it because I want to. I do it because I care. I want my family to have a good meal together at the table. I want to help my family save money and eat cleaner at home. I want Leo to have fresh clean diapers for daycare. I want Leo to have more milk available to him, rather than him coming home crying from hunger. I want my family to have clean clothes to wear and look good. These things come naturally to me and I’m hoping to get much support on it.

To those who relate to events like these and wondering why women like to nag/do do do/complain, you can make yourself useful and help. Do not assume that all is done. Offer help and you will realize that what another person do might be more than what you thought. Most importantly, ask. Ask if there is help needed. Sometimes, just talking will help ease off the chore and get conversations going.

I love it when hubs talk to me while I’m doing something so that I can keep my mind on the conversation and not the task. It can be pretty lonely most of the time. I actually enjoy those conversations because it is like a “catch up” moment of the day. I need these catch ups. I need to feel wanted and spoken/listened to.

And… It is 11:45pm, Leo just woke up (1 out of the 6 times of the night). When will this get better?

I think I only get to Stage 1… and somemetimes 2…

sleep-stages

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