Duckbill Valves vs. Valve+Membrane Sets

Spectra breast pump valves come with either duckbill valves or valve+membrane sets included with the pump. You will need to replace your valves regularly to maintain suction and performance of your breast pump. You can choose from either duckbill valves or valve+membrane sets when it's time to replace the valve. They're entirely interchangeable regardless of what type of valve your pump came with. It's all a matter of personal preference. 

Not sure which you would prefer? Continue reading this article to learn about each style of valve. 

Duckbill valve

  • You can expect your duck valves to last up to 2-3 months.

Your Spectra breast pump will more than likely have shipped with white silicone duck valves. This style of Spectra breast pump valve is becoming more popular as mamas are finding the one-piece duck valve is easier to clean and lasts a bit longer. These are becoming more standard in the industry as other breast pump companies are starting to do as Spectra does by including silicone duck valves (be careful if you're buying from another brand, because they might not fit your Spectra pump!).

Here's what a duck valves look like:spectra-breast-pump-valves

Valve+Membrane set

  • You can expect your Spectra breast pump valve and membrane set to last up to 8 weeks of regular use.

Some mums prefer the Spectra breast pump valve and membrane sets. We continue to sell this older valve style because some mamas find these easier to clean. If you’re used to the Medela style breastshield sets, you might prefer the Spectra breast pump valve and membrane set as it is nearly identical (but not interchangeable!). The Spectra Dew 350 still ships with the blue valve and membrane set. If you’re pumping frequently you might find this style more sustainable as the blue valve head is made of recyclable plastic, and you can replace just the Spectra silicone valve membrane instead of the whole valve.

Here's what the valve+membrane sets look like:


Note: Valve on the left is properly assembled, the right valve is not. 

When to replace your Spectra breast pump valves

How often you need to replace your Spectra breast pump valves depends on how often you pump. After a while, the elasticity of the silicone parts wear down. If you’re using duck valves, plan on replacing them every 6-8 weeks – or every 4 weeks if you’re exclusively expressing. If you’re using valve head & membrane sets, plan on replacing those every 6-8 weeks – or every 2-4 weeks if you’re exclusively expressing. The first sign that your valves need to be replaced is almost always a reduction in suction. Look membranes that don’t lay flat on valve heads, and duckbill valves that don’t close up completely when not in use. Always replace valves if you see tears.

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