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Old 01-16-2017, 03:44 PM   #1
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PISA vs. Spectra vs. others

I'm looking for pumps now, for EDD 4/2017, as I will plan to return to work soon after this little one. Hopefully the ACA doesn't get repealed before I get my insurance pump! How does the PISA compare to Spectra? Or is there another you'd recommend? I like the idea of adjusting suction and speed separately....I had a Medela Lactina with my first from WIC and never could get more than 1-2 oz, but could get 8-9 oz with the manual pumps. The speed was too fast when the suction was adequate and suction too low when speed was right. Anyway, don't want to spend my insurance benefit on PISA if that won't work, but a lot of people seem to like it! Or, if you have another recommendation, I'm listening!

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Old 01-16-2017, 04:14 PM   #2
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Re: PISA vs. Spectra vs. others

I have no experience with pumps other than the PISA. For work I have my own office, and specifically like the "metro bag" style because the pump can be removed from the bag and left on my desk all day long, saving me a set-up/tear down step for each pumping and also saving the extra desktop space of leaving the whole bag up there. A non-issue if you have to relocate to pump all the time.
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:12 PM   #3
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Re: PISA vs. Spectra vs. others

So I have the spectra and I totally love it, but it's all I've ever tried. I have a friend who has both, and she prefers the spectra, because it has more suction, but she isn't sure if that's because the Pisa is older and dying or not. I'd say don't choose for the bag - you can throw the spectra in any bag, and what woman doesn't love the excuse to buy a new bag? In the reviews I read I thought the spectra came out on top but that could have changed by now. Here's what I think:

Spectra: super easy cleanup - nothing can ever get in the tubing and the flanges are easy to clean.
Really adjustable, although once you get it set you'll probably never change it.
Bottles that come with it are pretty crappy, but it also fits avent natural bottles, including the glass ones.
No car cord or battery power available (BUT you can order a generic car cord that works for pumping in the car)
Not as popular, so harder to find replacement parts at target or wherever than for Pisa, but so far I've not needed anything so this has worked out ok for me.

I do really like my spectra, but I never worked full time after baby, only part time, so I probably can't give a rigorous review like others can. I think the pisa is really popular and well known, but I've never used it, so I can't compare. Good luck!
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:55 PM   #4
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Re: PISA vs. Spectra vs. others

I have the PISA, Ameda Purely Yours, and Hygeia Q. We bought the PISA locally the day after coming home from the hospital when breastfeeding was still just as painful and I still couldn't get a hold of a lactation consultant locally. I loved it because I was successfully expressing milk, but even the first phase and lowest setting hurt and stressed me out. My friend gave me her Ameda Purely Yours as a backup and having control over speed and suction worked so much better for me -- I could put the setting as low and slow as I wanted (so it wasn't as stressful/painful) and adjust as needed throughout the pumping session. So I knew I wanted this type of control for the pump I got through insurance and the Hygeia Q had it. There weren't very many reviews of the Hygeia Q, but from what I did read the parts for the PISA (shields, tubing) were compatible with it which would help since I was needing to get smaller shields for each pump and I have already gotten smaller shields for using the PISA. I keep the Hygeia Q at work in a tote bag (not the one that came with it, the one I got with the Hygeia Q was like a large insulated reusable grocery bag) and just bring the parts I need to wash home every night.

The Ameda Purely Yours (which I use at home, I don't use the PISA at all anymore) doesn't get as good of reviews as the PISA, but it works better for me than the PISA. I think the Hygeia Q has slightly more power than the Purely Yours, but I may be making that up (I haven't done any scientific tests). I was double pumping, but the left side kept getting little clogs/blocks so now I single pump and there's more power/efficiency from both machines. So if you already have experience of having success when you can control both speed and suction I would go with one of the others despite PISA's popularity. And the abiltity to customize also helps I think if duct clogs/blocks occur. Although I've been exclusively pumping I unfortunately never followed best practices (just trial and error since I'm the only one I know that exclusively pumps), and only pump 3 times a day, but nevertheless I get 36-40oz/day (enough for my little one with a few ounces to spare), and I think having control over speed and suction have helped with that. I also prefer the parts for the Ameda Purely Yours because they're easier to clean. Though Medela parts (that fit the Hygeia Q) I think might be easier to find. Hope this perspective might have been helpful and not too redundant with what you already know. If I was to re-do it, I'd research how much replacement supplies are too because I wouldn't mind having a few extra shields, etc because I have forgotten them at work before and therefore didn't have a chance to soak them overnight like I usually do. Best of luck!

Last edited by cjd071215; 01-16-2017 at 05:58 PM. Reason: Typo, formatting
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Old 01-19-2017, 11:31 AM   #5
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Re: PISA vs. Spectra vs. others

I have a Spectra, PISA, and Freestyle. Have to nurse now, but will post more later about my experience with the three.
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Old 01-19-2017, 02:51 PM   #6
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Re: PISA vs. Spectra vs. others

I get a free Medela pump with every pregnancy from work. So, I have two PISAs (one that no longer works and one that is in an unopened box) and two Freestyles that both still work. I really wanted a Spectra this time based on reviews, so I went ahead and bought it myself thinking that I wouldn't open the newest PISA and will sell it to cover the cost.

My first PISA lasted through 2 kids, pumping on average once a day. It worked well and I didn't have any real issues. I had to always have it plugged in, even though it came with a battery pack (not a rechargeable one - actual batteries). When I pumped with the batteries it wasn't super strong.

I tried the Freestyle next and I really liked that it was portable and easy to walk around the house and get things done while hands free pumping. However, I could not use it for more than occasional pumping because it was not strong enough to clear me out. I took it on a business trip once and it was miserable... I was manually clearing out clogged ducts every day and I could not wait to get home to baby. Other than times in which I need something super portable, I don't use it.

The Spectra is definitely my favorite, mostly because it is strong like the PISA (I think stronger, but I can't use it on a super high vacuum level because I'm still adjusting) and it is QUIET! It is important to me to be able to use it while I take calls for work and I can (something I could not do with the PISA). It is nice to be able to adjust both the vacuum and the speed to suit my body. It is true that the extra parts aren't super easy to come by, but I use my old Medela parts and bottles and only had to spend a few bucks to buy parts that convert them off of Amazon (I think the brand is Maymom and I bought backflow protectors and bottle converters).

I use my old Medela bag to carry the pump in, but as another poster said, you can use any bag - it's not really a big deal.

If your insurance will only cover a PISA (some of my friends don't have Spectra as an option) and still want to get the Spectra and try to sell the PISA to cover the cost, the best deal I found was on Groupon. I found it for $175 and bought it when Groupon was running a 10% off sale. I also bought it through Ebates when they were doing 9% cash back, so I paid a total of $145 for it. I got the S1 because it can be cordless. The S2 is cheaper but it always has to be plugged in.
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Old 01-19-2017, 04:01 PM   #7
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Re: PISA vs. Spectra vs. others

This is so helpful! I talked with Aeroflow today and I qualify to have the Ameda, Hygeia or Spectra. It sounds like Spectra has best warranty and strongest motor. It helps to hear positive reviews, since it's not a well known brand. I am curious about the compatibility of Medela parts which are readily available vs. Spectra parts which seem to be elusive...
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Old 01-19-2017, 06:04 PM   #8
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Re: PISA vs. Spectra vs. others

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2madison06 View Post
This is so helpful! I talked with Aeroflow today and I qualify to have the Ameda, Hygeia or Spectra. It sounds like Spectra has best warranty and strongest motor. It helps to hear positive reviews, since it's not a well known brand. I am curious about the compatibility of Medela parts which are readily available vs. Spectra parts which seem to be elusive...
I use the Medela flanges, valves, and membranes (I periodically replace the membranes) from my old pump and use this backflow protector (make sure it is this one with the long stem or you will have to buy a second conversion piece):

https://www.amazon.com/Maymom-Backfl...flow+protector

And these bottle converters with my old Medela bottles (because the Spectra bottles are not my favorite):

https://www.amazon.com/Maymom-Change...ttle+converter
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Last edited by gabby's mom; 01-19-2017 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:31 PM   #9
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Re: PISA vs. Spectra vs. others

I think everyone is a bit different but based on my experience the Spectra S1 + S2 provide great flexibility and have a gentle suction that's really efficient. I haven't tried the PISA but I have tried the Freemie, the Ameda, the Spectra 9 Plus and they all pale in comparison.
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