When I was pregnant with Gabe I started thinking about whether there were any products I would need that I hadn’t had with Toby. One thing that I was considering was an electric breast pump. I didn’t have a great breastfeeding experience with Toby and I never really expressed any milk at all. I had a manual pump that was pretty rubbish and I’d stopped breastfeeding before I bothered to try any other kind of pump. This time I knew I wanted to give breastfeeding another go and I thought that an electric pump might be useful in the early days to help increase my supply, and then perhaps later if I wanted to express milk so Barry or someone else could feed Gabe.
There are lots of different breast pumps on the market and it’s hard to know which one to choose. When I saw a tweet from Ardo saying they were looking for people to try their pumps I had a look at their website and was impressed to see that their pumps are used in hospitals around the country. As well as information about their products there is also lots of fab information and advice about breastfeeding on the website. I got in touch with Ardo and was delighted when they agreed to send me a Calypso Double Plus electric pump to try, along with a great selection of breastfeeding and pumping accessories.
The Calypso Double Plus has an RRP of £129.95. The pump comes with a selection of different size breast shells (four different options), two bottles with lids and a bottle holder, plus a brush for cleaning. Ardo also kindly sent me some night and day breast pads, microwave sterilising bags, freezer storage bags and some lanolin nipple cream.
The pump was very easy to set up out of the box. It can be used as a single or double pump and it’s very easy to switch between the two. The pump can be used with batteries or from the mains so you can easily pump on the go if you need to. It has different settings for vacuum and cycles so it’s very easy to adjust to get the best flow – Ardo recommend you start with low suction and high speed and then when the milk starts to flow increase the suction and decrease the speed – this mimics a baby’s suckling pattern to achieve the best results. Because there are eight different levels for both vacuum and cycles which are individually adjustable it’s very easy to find a level which is comfortable and effective.
The Ardo pump is very quiet – very important to allow for pumping and watching TV at the same time! Since we started putting Gabe to bed at the same time as Toby a week or so ago I have been expressing milk in the evenings. If you read my recent post about how I think we might be nearing the end for breast feeding you’ll know that mostly just due to the practicalities of breastfeeding a baby who takes an awful long time to feed, alongside looking a toddler, I am now giving Gabe some bottles during the day. If I can manage to express enough milk in the evenings then one of these bottles can be breast milk rather than formula and I know Gabe is getting all the benefits of my milk, without me having to spend hours feeding him. I’m actually finding expressing milk oddly satisfying – I was very pleased with myself last week when I managed to pump 3 ounces in one session!
The Calypso pump is very easy to use and also easy to clean. As it is a closed system there is no possibility of any milk getting into the tubes or the pump itself. This means only the parts that come into contact with the milk need to be washed and sterilised. The Easy Clean microwave sterilising bags have been perfect for this and I’ve also used them when sterilising Gabe’s bottles.
Overall I have found the Ardo Calypso Double Plus Electric breast pump very easy to use, and although I haven’t been able to pump huge amounts this breast pump has certainly made the whole process a painless one. The only small criticism I have of the pump is that there isn’t a seal where the bottles connect to the pump itself. This isn’t really a problem as long as you use the bottle holder when putting the bottles down. I didn’t do this the first time I used the pump (which is entirely my own fault!) and because having the pump attached makes the bottles top heavy they don’t stand up on their own. I didn’t realise this, or that one of my bottles had fallen over and while I tidied up my hard won breast milk was slowly trickling away. Only a woman who has spilled expressed breast milk can know how truly devastating it can be! Having said that, as long as you are aware of this and use the bottle holder then it really isn’t a problem.
If you are looking for an electric breast pump then I would highly recommend the Ardo Calypso Double Plus.
**Disclosure: I was sent the featured products in return for this review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.