16 Weeks Postpartum and Spectra S1 pump

16 weeks postpartum on Friday and I weighed in at 142. I’m a little disappointed, I’ve been working out pretty hard this week and I don’t think my diet has been that bad, but alas. These things happen and I remind myself that the extra weight this week may even be the water and fluid retention generated to recover my sore muscles, and it’s only temporary. Maybe I’ll see a big drop next week, maybe I won’t, but I’m going to keep pushing forward as hard as I can with my workouts anyway.

I’m on day 19 of the Full Circuit program and feeling great about it. It’s still really tough but I’m able to power through those 7 sets without breaks and work up a great sweat, then finish it out with three slow negative pullups. Working out has started to become an addiction for me again and it’s a great one to have. Hopefully the scale will reflect my hard work next week but even if it doesn’t, I physically feel better and my clothes are beginning to fit better, so I still feel pretty motivated to keep it up.

The last three days I’ve had something to eat with dairy and I know this has contributed to my weight gain a little bit, not to mention giving me a headache. The more time goes by without eating anything dairy, the worse the reaction is when I finally do. I made some potato soup yesterday with a block of cream cheese and on top of bloating, I got a headache. The only other times I recently got a headache were the last two times I ate pizza for dinner. It seems like every time I eat cheese, a headache follows in addition to serious bloating and some mild stomach cramps, I wasn’t 100% sure about the headache though until last night, they’re definitely related. I’m going to try harder to resist dairy, which means finding a new favorite to replace the pimento cheese wedges at Frog and Hen 😦

I received my Spectra S1 pump earlier in the week. I didn’t use it during the week because I’ve figured out how to use my Medela. I’m not sure why I was so scared of upping the suction on it, maybe because it didn’t work with my son to do that two years ago, but I’ve been pretty successful with it this week, producing almost 7 oz each pumping session, which is a lot for me.

This weekend though, I’ve tested out the Spectra. It’s definitely quieter than the Medela, and the suction pattern is a lot different, it feels like more of a vibration than a pull. There are customizable settings, but I haven’t quite figured them out yet. You can change speed and suction, and there’s two different modes. In one mode it pulls faster and you can only go up to a suction 5, in the other mode it pulls slower but you can go up to a suction past 9–I haven’t been brave enough to see exactly how far it will go.

One of the main cons with the Spectra that I noticed immediately this morning when I started pumping, is that since it’s not a dial that you turn on and then keep turning to increase suction, it immediately starts on the last setting you had it on. For me, I tend to increase suction as I go longer in the pumping session, giving my nipples a chance to ease into and get accustomed to the harsher pull. Given that the Spectra starts back exactly where you left off, it started at almost full blast immediately when I turned it on. This was a quite a shock this morning. Ouch is an understatement. The Medela begins low every time which I appreciate. This one you need to be careful with when you turn it on.

I do like that there’s a timer on it, so I don’t have to remember to start the timer on my phone every time I pump. There’s a light on it too so even if it’s dark you can see it, which is also nice. There’s also a battery in the back which you can charge with an adapter without having to remove it or replace the batteries when it runs down. The Medela has a battery pack as well, but it doesn’t recharge, you have to replace the batteries — 8 AA, ouch.

I pumped for 10 minutes this morning with the Spectra and got almost 6 oz. Not bad for not knowing how to really use it. Of course, my morning pump session is always more productive than the later ones. I definitely want to keep trying it out. It’s hard to trust it though because now I’ve figured out how my Medela can benefit me the best and I’m comfortable using it, but the timer and light, the battery pack, and the quietness of the Spectra really make it more convenient for pumping at work. I think I’m going to risk it and take my Spectra to work this week and leave my Medela at home. Even though I’m seeing great results now with the Medela, I want to give the Spectra a shot because I think overall it will be better. Hassle is 50% of the battle with pumping, and the Spectra definitely cuts this down way more than the Medela. If it can produce the same milk results as the Medela, we’ll be golden. More on this next week.

Also, it appears that Avent bottles fit on the Spectra pump too, which will be nice when/if I ever get to the point where I pump more than 5 oz a session.

That’s it for this week!

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