Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Review: Ardo Calypso Breast Pump

My breastfeeding journey has continued to be a struggle with my new little man.  For a few days there we thought I might actually be ok.  For the first time I experienced let down and engorgement and my little man was audibly swallowing and even gulping at times. I didn't supplement at all until day ten when it became apparent he was going downhill and losing weight and becoming less alert.  I think I made enough milk initially but as his needs increased my supply couldn't keep up.  The joys of IGT I guess. It made the whole situation quite emotional for me, as even though I had prepared for the worst I had gotten that false glimmer of hope for the first week or so that things were actually working this time around.  I have been supplementing with donor milk and formula for the last few weeks and thankfully the little man is now thriving again. It's a heartbreaking situation and even more difficult when I see so many women giving up for selfish or just plain ridiculous reasons when they make plenty of milk. But I digress...

It quickly became apparent that I would need to add pumping to my long list of tricks to get my supply to it's optimum level.  In the past I have used Medela and Avent pumps.  I used the hospital grade Medela Lactina, the Medela Swing and the Medela Mini as well as the Avent Isis. I was on a budget this time but wanted something good and reliable that wouldn't cost me a fortune in replacement parts if I needed them.

Ardo Calypso
I stumbled upon the Ardo Calypso Breast Pump, an electric pump that can do single or double pumping.  It was a bit of a gamble as they are a less known company and there were not too many reviews out there.  The reviews that were out there though, were quite good.  I loved the 400 hour guarantee that transferred with owners and I liked the fact that several had commented on the excellent customer support. It is also used in hospitals in parts of the UK, so I figured that in itself is a raging endorsement.

I went ahead and ordered the package deal on Inhealth.ie as it came with the double kit and some milk storage bags and worked out cheaper than buying the double kit on Amazon or directly from Ardo.

I am very happy with the pump, it is on par with other ones I have tried, even the very expensive Medela Lactina.  I loved the fact that it came with three different sized flanges, so you are sure to be able to get one that works best for you without having to shop around elsewhere and fork out more money.  It is fairly straightforward to assemble, although I can't say I thought the instructions were very clear.  Think Ikea instructions, you need to do a lot of reading between the lines, but once set up it's easy to remember and repeat.

The pump itself is very quiet in comparison to other electric pumps.  The base unit is small and unobtrusive and doesn't look like a breast pump.  It sits inconspicuously in my living room and no one knows what it is until I plug in the flanges.

There are eight vacuum and eight cycle settings.  This is brilliant because you can play around with something that suits your situation and your flow.  I start off on a very fast cycle to imitate what a baby would do to start let down, then I slow it down.  As the flow is decreasing, I turn the vacuum up and do compressions to get the remaining few drops out.

Overall I am extremely happy with this pump. I think it is better than both the Medela and Avent options and would highly recommend it.  Below is a summary of the pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Three flange sizes
  • Affordable replacement parts
  • Quiet motor
  • Small and inobtrusive
  • Can be used with batteries as well
  • 400 hours of pumping guarantee
  • Good customer service
  • Fully compliant with the WHO Breastfeeding code.
Cons:
  • Instructions are not as clear as they should be
  • Batteries must be removed to use the mains adaptor

Disclaimer: I purchased this pump with my own funds, no compensation was received for this review. All opinions are my own.

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