The best pumping bras for your Spectra

If it’s possible to love a pump, it was love at first use with my Spectra S1. But if you are reading this article, I’m preaching to the converted. What’s more important to share is the best pumping bra to use with your beloved Spectra.

As an ex-Medela pumper, I was totally unprepared for the elegant simplicity of Spectra flanges. There was nothing to assemble! All I had to do was connect the shield to the bottle and the diaphragm.

My smile turned into a frown when I tried to squeeze the Spectra shield through my pumping bra ‘hole’. I ended up pumping without a bra that day. 

Unlike detachable flanges, Spectra shields come as a one-piece and need pumping bras that are specially designed to accommodate this.

These Spectra-compatible pumping bras are the best when it comes to comfort, security and convenience:

Best-of-the-best Spectra pumping bra: Cake Maternity Lotus Pumping Bra  

This is obviously not the only Spectra-compatible pumping bra, but my favorite hands-free pumping bra is the Cake Maternity Lotus Pumping Bra. It’s the perfect all-rounder, can be worn 24/7 if you want to, and comes in sizes XS to busty XL (fits 30A to 40G).

Check it out on Amazon

Why is the Lotus Pumping Bra so awesome?

  • This is literally a 3-in-1 nursing bra: You can use it as a ‘regular’ nursing bra to breastfeed, a hands-free pumping bra, and a yoga bra.
  • The double-layered cup design means the flange ‘hole’ is a slit rather than a circle. Pumping bras with slits are the only ones that can work with Spectra flanges.
  • It ticks all my boxes – it’s supportive, comfy and holds my Spectra flanges in a vice-like grip. No issues with spilled milk there.  
  • It’s compatible with most other pump brands as well – Medela, Tommy Tippee, Avent, Pigeon, etc. etc. 

What I don’t like about it

  • It’s non-padded. If you’re leaking, you’ll need to use disposable pads. 

Bear in mind

  • When you first try it on, it will be snug. But it’s a sports bra. It’s meant to prevent breast jiggle. It gets a lot comfier after a few wears. 

* I’ve worn my Lotus Bra for almost a year now and they are still going strong. I’m not breastfeeding anymore by the way, I’m just wearing it as a sports bra. 

This is what the Lotus looks like after 1 year of rough use. Not bad. 

Read my detailed review of the Lotus Bra.

Best Spectra bra for work: Momcozy Pumping Bra 

If you’re looking for a more ‘respectable’ bra for work, The Momcozy Pumping Bra is your best bet. It looks great under sheer tops and provides good support, even for moms with large breasts.     

Check it out on Amazon

Why is the Momcozy Pumping Bra so awesome?

  • Uses an ‘X’ structure to hold your shields in place securely
  • Unlike some 2-in-1 nursing and pumping bras, it’s not bulky in the cups 
  • Converts to racerback design for extra support 
  • Excellent value-for-money

What I don’t like about it

  • The fabric is thin and might not be supportive enough if you have heavy breasts
  • It’s not a structured bra – moms with large breasts are at risk of uni-boob  

Bear in mind

  • Sizes run big. Order down a size. 

Best Spectra bra for a night out: Dairy Fairy Ayla Pumping Bra

I get it. Regular pumping bras can look a bit frumpy. Sometimes a girl just wants to feel sexy. The Ayla Pumping Bra is the answer to your dreams.  

Check it out on Amazon

Why is the Ayla Pumping Bra so awesome?

  • There is nothing like lace to help you feel sexy
  • It has hidden flange openings – no one would know it’s a pumping bra unless you show them the ‘secret door’
  • It’s one of the only pumping bras with a demi-underwire (half cup) to provide support and lift while preventing clogged ducts
  • Available in black, cream, champagne, iced coffee and sage, coral rose and midnight. What dreamy names! 

What I don’t like about it

  • The lace can be itchy on sensitive skin
  • Sizes run small so make sure you try it on before cutting the tags off

Bear in mind

  • You should only wear a flexi-wired pump bra if you can pump regularly. Otherwise your breasts will get engorged and you’ll put yourself at risk of clogged ducts. 

Understandably, some of you might already have nursing bras that you want to make full use of. If that’s the case, these are your options:

Best Spectra bustier: Simple Wishes Signature Hands-free Pumping Bra

The Simple Wishes Pumping Bra is not actually a bra but more a band with an adjustable Velcro back panel that you wear over your open nursing bra. It has a zip-in center panel at the front to allow 1 inch of side-to-side movement so you can get the best fit for your flanges.

Check it out on Amazon

Why is the Signature Pumping bra so awesome?

  • Easily slipped over your nursing bra for pumping sessions
  • The 4-way layering support keeps a tight seal on your breast shields
  • Has a fully adjustable 10 inch Velcro back panel to fit any sized mom 
  • Can be used with most major pump brands.

What I don’t like about it

  • The edges can fray with use
  • That’s a few extra steps needed to use the bustier – precious minutes I don’t have to waste

Bear in mind

  • You’ll need to remove your top to fit the bustier on. Personally I would feel too exposed. 

Best bra clip-on for Spectra: BRAVADO! Designs Hands-free Nursing Bra Accessory

This handy accessory won the Mom’s Choice Award for being convenient, easy and discrete. It attaches to any nursing bra with B clips. 

Check it out on Amazon

Why is the BRAVADO! Nursing Bra Clip-on so awesome?

  • Has a figure-8 opening that is specifically designed for non-detachable Spectra flanges
  • Easily attaches to your nursing bra’s B clips. Just drop down your cups and attach it to the straps.
  • Allows you to pump and nurse at the same time
  • Works with any nursing bra with B-clips/ drop-down cups

What I don’t like about it

  • It’s an extra few steps in your pumping session when you’re already rushing for time
  • Sizes run small so measure yourself with your nursing bra on

Bear in mind

  • The price is similar to some pumping bras, e.g the Momcozy pumping bra. It might be worth just buying a pumping bra that you can wear throughout the day as well.   

How do I choose the best pumping bra or accessory that will work well with my Spectra?

What’s best for you depends on your circumstances and preferences. These are the features to look out for in a pumping bra to make sure it works well with your Spectra flanges:

  • Slits instead of round holes to fit the non-detachable Spectra shields
  • A tight fit around your shield so that your shield and bottles will stay in place even when your bottles are full

Other features of a good pumping bra:

  • Made of flexible material that will stretch and contract with your boobs
  • Wireless and has a wide under-bust band for good support
  • Easy to use and time-saving
  • Preferably able to multi-task as a regular nursing bra as well

The Cake Maternity Lotus Pumping Bra fulfills all the above criteria and more. I’ve been using my Lotus Pumping Bra for a year now and it’s still going strong. 

Other burning questions you might have

Can you pump hands-free with a Spectra pump?

Of course you can! You can pump hands-free with any electric pump if you wear a hands-free pumping bra. 

What are some of the best types of pumping bras?

Pumping bras are generally divided into two groups:

Combined nursing-and-pumping bras

You can wear these bras throughout the day. They are designed to allow you to both breastfeed and pump. These are the best types of pumping bra for convenience and comfort. They are also great value-for-money. 

Read: The 7 best all-in-one nursing and pumping bras on Amazon

Pure pumping bras/ bustiers

These are bras or bustiers that you put on specifically when you want to pump. They are designed purely for pumping and are generally not comfy or supportive enough to wear for a long period of time. 

The Simple Wishes Pumping Bra is one of the most popular around but I’m not a fan of these type of bras. I don’t get why I need to buy a bra just for pumping when they are so many great combined bras on the market.   

How many pumping bras do I need?

You will need at least one pumping bra if you intend to do hands-free pumping. If you work full-time, you will need at least 2 pumping bras that you can alternate while the other is in the wash.

For more info, read: How many nursing bras do you need? Also read When to start wearing nursing bras (and why).

Can I use a regular bra with my Spectra pump?

 Of course you can! The only problem with using a regular bra or nursing bra is that it’s not hands-free. 

Unless you get a pumping accessory like the BRAVADO! Designs Hands-free Nursing Bra Clip-on. You can easily clip it on your regular nursing bra and it magically transforms it into a hands-free pumping bra!  

Read more: Pumping bra vs nursing bra: Which to choose?

You can also try some DIY nursing bra hacks. 

Do DIY pumping bras work for Spectra?

There are DIY hacks out there teaching moms to cut holes in sports bras and using them as pumping bras. This will not work with Spectra shields. You will need to cut a pretty big hole to fit the flanges and these large holes will never hold your shields in place securely.

But if you have a spare sports bra lying around and want to give it a try, read 4 easy nursing bra hacks- How to use a nursing bra as a pumping bra   

Why do Medela pumping bras not work with Spectra pumps?

Medela pumping bras were made to work with the detachable Medela flanges. The Medela bra (bustier) has round holes. It would be almost impossible to squeeze your non-detachable Spectra flanges through those holes.

Do DIY pumping bras work for Spectra?

There are DIY hacks out there teaching moms to cut holes in sports bras and using them as pumping bras. This will not work with Spectra shields. You will need to cut a pretty big hole to fit the flanges and these large holes will never hold your shields in place securely.

To wrap up

Having a great breast pump is important but being able to pump easily, securely and comfortably is even more important. I think the Cake Maternity Lotus Pumping Bra is one of the best hands-free pumping bras around. I wore it almost every day throughout breastfeeding and am still wearing it now. Have you tried it? What do you think?

If you found this article helpful, help me to spread the word by sharing it with other Spectra fans.

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