Do you have a breast pump that keeps you tied to an outlet? Looking for a Spectra S2 battery pack, or a way to use your Medela Pump in Style on the go? Here is a complete guide to making your breast pump mobile with an external battery pack!
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Two Types of Breast Pump External Power Sources
There are two different ways that you can power your breast pump without being tied to an outlet when your pump doesn’t have a built-in rechargable battery:
- External Battery Pack – When you need to pump, you just plug your pump into the external battery as you would into your outlet. The benefit of using it is that you aren’t tied to a wall; you can pump anywhere you need to, and you can be more mobile. Some external battery packs use batteries, while others are charged before use.
- Car Charger – A car charger allows you to power your pump by plugging it in to your vehicle lighter.
Which one will work best for you depends on where you want to be able to pump. If it’s mostly in car (like on your commute), the advantage to using a car charger is that you don’t have to worry about keeping it charged or buying batteries. On the other hand, if you want to have more flexibility with where you can pump, an external battery pack might work better.
Breast Pumps and Voltage
Besides the type of power source you want to have, the voltage that your breast pump requires is another important thing to consider.
Most breast pumps use 9V or 12V power sources, you want to make sure to use the right one. If you use a voltage that is too low, the suction on your pump may be negatively affected. If you use a voltage that is too high, it can damage your pump.
To find out which voltage you need, check the power cord that you use with your pump – it should say what the voltage is. (Most Medela pumps now use a 9V and most Spectra pumps use a 12V, but check your cord or your instruction manual to confirm.)
For example, here you can see my Medela pump uses a 9V adaptor:
Best External Breast Pump Battery Packs
Here are some of the best external battery packs you can use for your breast pump.
TalentCell – 12V
The TalentCell is the most popular Spectra S2 battery pack. It is a 12V rechargable battery.
Using it is pretty simple: you plug it into an outlet to charge. Once it’s fully charged, you plug it into your Spectra and pump as you normally would, except that you can pump wherever you want!
Most moms reported that the pump works the same (i.e., no loss of suction) when charged into the TalentCell battery pack as it does when plugged into the wall.
You can also attach the battery to the bottom of your pump using Velcro strips to make things easier.
Medela Battery Pack – 9V
The Medela battery pack comes standard with some versions of the Pump in Style, but with others you have to buy it separately. To use it, you just add 8 AA batteries to it and plug it into your pump like you would plug in the power adaptor.
One of the benefits of using batteries is that if you’ll be without a power source for a long time, you can just pack a lot of batteries. On other hand, buying batteries is expensive, and it may be cheaper to use a battery you can recharge.
Some moms have noted that the suction isn’t as strong using this battery pack as it when the pump is plugged in. Others noted that the type of battery makes a difference. If you notice reduced suction, you might want to try different batteries and see if that helps.
Medela 9V and Spectra 12V Car Adaptors
There isn’t really anything that differentiates the Medela and Spectra adaptors except for the voltage. They both work the same – you plug the adapter into the vehicle lighter, plug the other end into your pump, and you can pump in the car. These both have 8 foot cords, so you can pump in the back seat if necessary.
These adaptors be really helpful if you’re frequently in the your car or live in an area prone to long power outages.
Maymom – 9V
This product is similar to the Medela battery pack in that it runs on 8 AA batteries. The main difference is that it also includes a car adaptor, and it’s less expensive than the Medela battery pack. If you want both a 9V battery pack and a car adapter, this might be a good option!
I hope this primer on how to set up a Medela or Spectra S2 battery pack is helpful! Let us know any other tricks you have in the comments.