While Spectra breast pump parts work fine for most people, others might want to “hack” their Spectra to use Medela pump parts instead. Here are some ways to set up a Spectra to Medela adaptor and use Medela pump parts with your Spectra.
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Why Hack Your Spectra to Use Medela Pump Parts?
All Spectra pumps come standard with 24mm and 28mm flanges, and now you can purchase additional breast shield sizes separately on their website.
However, there are a number of situations where you might want to customize your pumping experience. Hacking your pump might be necessary if you:
- Need smaller or larger flanges.
- Were a Medela user before purchasing your Spectra, and you want to continue using your Medela parts and bottles.
- Prefer a separate flange and connector as it can be easier to attach your flanges and bottles while using a hands-free pumping bra.
- Want to use Pumpin Pals flanges (more on these here – also, buying an adapter for Pumpin Pals is an option).
So how do you do this?
Medela has recently transitioned from their older open system pump parts to newer closed system parts, and the strategies are different depending on which parts you have.
Using New, Closed System Medela Pump Parts with a Spectra
With Medela’s closed system pump parts, hacking them to work with a Spectra is pretty easy. Because the new Medela parts are closed system, you don’t need a separate backflow protector.
All you need to do is get the yellow end of the Medela tubing off, and then you can attach the Medela tubing directly to the Spectra pump.
Some people are able to just pull the yellow end off. I couldn’t get mine off, so I cut it.
(If you plan on using both the Medela and Spectra pumps, I’d buy an extra set of tubing here, so that you have one set of tubing for each pump.)
You can see more of how to do this here:
3 Ways to Hack Your Spectra to Use Older Medela Pump Parts
To use older, open system Medela pump parts with a Spectra, you need to connect the Medela flange connector to your Spectra backflow protector.
Here are three ways to do this.
1. Use the Maymom Backflow Protector
This backflow protector is the same as the one that comes with your Spectra, but the stem is long enough to insert into the Medela flange connector without needing an adaptor.
The advantage of this method is that it is simple, with no extra pieces to lose or break. The con is that it costs a little more than other options.
2. Use the Maymom Flange Adaptor
This little yellow adaptor allows you to connect your Spectra backflow protector to your Medela flange connector.
To use these, connect one end to your backflow protector and the other end into the opening where your Medela tubing would go.
This method works with connectors from Medela Pump In Style, Medela Swing, and Maymom pump parts. It is not compatible with Medela Freestyle or Sonata connectors.
Here’s how it should look when assembled:
This is an inexpensive option. The only disadvantage is this part is small and easily lost or misplaced.
3. DIY Medela to Spectra Hack
You have to get a little crafty to complete this hack. Here’s how to do it in 5 steps.
Step 1: Cut the Medela and Spectra tubing
Cut off the light yellow connectors that come attached to your Medela tubing, and leave on a little of the existing tube.
Cut off about 2-3 inches of your Spectra tubing.
Step 2: Attach the connectors
Insert the Medela connectors into the little piece of Spectra tubing.
Step 3: Attach tubing to the backflow protector
The next step is the trickiest and requires some patience and muscle. You must attach the other end of the little piece of Spectra tubing to the larger stem on the backflow protector.
At first it might seem like its not going to fit, but it you wiggle it and work it around it will eventually go on.
Step 4: Connect Spectra backflow protector to Medela connector
Now all that’s left to do is to connect your hacked Spectra tubes and backflow protectors to your Medela flange connector and bottles.
The advantage to this method is that there is no need to buy anything extra.
The con is that it is sometimes hard to get the Spectra tubing to attach to the backflow protectors, and this leaves the backflow protectors awkwardly hanging.
Important Things To Remember
- Always use backflow protectors with open system Medela parts when using your Spectra pump. Without these backflow protectors, you risk milk getting into the tubing and the pump, which would encourage the growth of bacteria and mold.
- You may void your warranty if you use your Spectra without a backflow protector.
- If you’re using a Spectra backflow protector, remember to replace the white silicone diaphragm within the backflow protector every 3-6 months to prevent loss of suction.
Have you hacked your Spectra using a Spectra to Medela adaptor? Tell us what you did in the comments!