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[Breastfeeding] ARDO breastpumps set new standards

2012 March 29
by MieVee @ MummysReviews.com

ARDO Calypso Breastpump

Just for breastfeeding Mummies, here’s my review of ARDO Breastpumps, launched in 2010 by ARDO Medical AG (a Swiss company), and bound to set new standards among breastpumps.

Questo Pte. Ltd., the distributor in Singapore and Malaysia, invited me for the review while I was pregnant with Baby Jae. It was the perfect timing because my previous breastpump is non BPA-free and I was just about to get a new one.

If you’re looking for a high quality breastpump developed by a team that supports breastfeeding, then read more below…

About ARDO Breastpumps

ARDO produces a complete range of breastpumps to suit different mum’s needs. I’d the opportunity to review Calypso (the single electric pump), Amaryll Kombikit (to convert it into a manual breastpump), and Calypso UpgradeSet (to convert it into a double pump).

The main picture above is the Calypso.

This is the UpgradeSet:

ARDO Calypso UpgradeSet

And this is the Amaryll KombiKit:

ARDO Amaryll KombiKit

These are the main features of the breastpumps & accessories:

Calypso Calypso UpgradeSet Amaryll KombiKit
What it is Single electric breastpump To convert Calypso into the Calypso double breastpump To convert Calypso into the Amaryll manual breastpump
What’s included – Breastpump with battery compartment
– Mains plug
– PumpSet
– 3 different breast shell sizes
– OptiFlow massage insert
– Bottle stand
– Additional PumpSet
– 3 different breast shell sizes
– OptiFlow massage insert
– Twin bottle stand
– Conversion kit
Material Premium quality BPA-free polypropylene, silicone Premium quality BPA-free polypropylene, silicone Premium quality BPA-free polypropylene, silicone
Country of origin Made in Switzerland Made in Switzerland Made in Switzerland

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For working mums, there’s Calypso-to-go, which is a package complete with a Calypso doublepump, supplementary accessories and a bag.

First Impressions

The ARDO breastpump comes with 3 different breast shell sizes — 26mm, 28mm and 31mm. As a really petite Asian, I’m glad to have a smaller breast shell.

The OptiFlow massage insert fits into the 31mm breast shell. Mummies of the 26mm and 28mm sizes can use it. This also means a 31mm-Mummy can’t use it. The insert is designed to hook over the breast shell, without the need to seal it completely.

ARDO OptiFlow Massage Insert

The breastpump has a narrow neck. It can be used with ARDO or other standard narrow neck bottles. To use it with wide neck bottles, you’d may buy a narrow-to-wide-neck converter.

It comes with silicone membrane pots that ensure milk doesn’t get into the tubes. This means the tubes don’t have to be sterilised before use.

The double pump comes with a twin bottle stand that can be hooked onto the electrical unit, so the bottles won’t topple over. Very clever design!

I was surprised that ARDO doesn’t sell bottle teats. It’s the company’s commitment to promote breastfeeding. For expressed milk, she encourages feeding through a mini cup, which is what we did with Vee 2+ years back. (You may choose to use a spoon or syringe too.) This is consistent with the advice by breastfeeding books and my home-visit nurse. Of course, there’re caregivers who prefer to feed baby with a bottle teat.

The ARDO guarantee is unique. The brochure states that “The guarantee has been extended. It will now be independent of the time of purchase and will cover all functionality over the period during which at least two babies are breastfed.”

In Singapore and Malaysia, the ARDO rep explained that the warranty is 2 years (from EDD) or 400 hours of use (tracked by an in-built timer for the electric pump), whichever is later. So it’s fine to buy the breastpump during pregnancy without “eating into” the warranty. And for a light breastpump user like me, after weaning baby Jae from breastfeeding, I can use the pump for baby #3, and still be covered by the warranty until 400 hours of use.

Mummies who need help with using the ARDO pump may contact the company. In Singapore, home-visits can be arranged to help customers use the pump effectively.

The ARDO rep also sent me Powerpoint slides to highlight how to choose the correct breast shell and pump rhythm.

There’s also more information at Youtube:

Our Detailed Review

Rating Guide: Oh no!     ★★ Poor     ★★★ Fair     ★★★★ Good     ★★★★★ Excellent!

(a) Ease of Use: ★★★★ The manual pump is the easiest to assemble. Even the double pump is relatively easy too.

The instruction booklet states clearly (in a table format) the parts can be sterilised versus those that should only be washed or cleaned.

There are few parts that need washing and sterilising. Namely the breast shells, massage inserts, valves, and flexible membrane pots. To minimise washing, I use the smallest 26mm breast shell without the massage insert. That’s 2 fewer parts to wash when double pumping.

I love the easy-to-use IndividualPhases. It allows me to independently adjust the vacuum strength and pump rhythm to my personal requirements as well as to the individual sucking pattern of my baby. There’re 8 choices each for vacuum strength and pump rhythm.

Both Vee and Jae suck very strongly, so I’m used to that. For stimulating the let-down reflex, I choose 4 bars for Vacuum and 8 bars for Cycles. After achieving let-down, I choose 5 bars for Vacuum and 6 bars for Cycles. Simply press the up or down buttons, very easy!

The first time I used the double pump, I fumbled quite a bit. I’d to hold the 2 pumpsets and press the button for the IndividualPhases. It seemed like I needed 3 hands instead! In the end, I used my right arm to hold both pumpsets, while freeing my left arm to press the buttons. Oh well… Unless absolutely necessary, I prefer to use only one pumpset.

Generally, ARDO is an easy-to-use breastpump, be it manual or electric.

(b) Comfort: ★★★★ The massage insert makes pumping very comfortable. Even without the insert, pumping is still comfortable.

Also, it’s a very quiet pump. Usually I pump near baby Jae when he’s sleeping, and the pumping doesn’t bother him at all. Great for Mummies who need a discreet pump outdoors.

(c) Effectiveness: ★★★★★ I first tried the breastpump when Jae was 4 weeks old. About 1 hour after a 6pm feed, I expressed 2.5oz within 15 minutes with the double pump. Quite good!

Another example: When Jae was 3 months old, he drank from only 1 breast for a 2a.m. feed. (He usually drinks from both sides.) I whipped out my breastpump gadgets and expressed 1oz via single electric pumping, 0.5oz via manual pumping, and another o.5oz via hand expression. Woohoo, that’s 2oz of extra milk!

ARDO Bottle

I find both the manual and electric ARDO breastpumps effective in emptying the breasts well.

 Tip to get more extra milk: At the end of the pumping session, try hand expression to completely empty the breasts. You may get a pleasant surprise!

At the moment, I’m really too busy (or lazy?) to express milk regularly. It’s impossible to pump in front of an active 3-year who’d try to play with the pump parts. The only possible time is during midnight, AND IF baby Jae doesn’t empty the breasts. When Jae starts sleeping through the night, I’d be able to express the “missed” feed for storing. My motivation for expressing is to keep the menses away!

The electric breastpump can be operated by batteries too: use 6 AA / 1.5V alkaline batteries. One night, the power socket I usually use was blocked by our new Montessori shelves. So I used the breastpump in battery-mode. I feel that the effectiveness is about the same.

(d) Quality: ★★★★ I haven’t used the pump intensively enough to judge its long-term quality, so I’m staying conservative here. In the meantime, every part seems sturdy. Moreover, I’m pleased with the unique ARDO guarantee mentioned previously — that is, 2 years or 400 hours of use, whichever is later. I think this is a very fair guarantee that will make ARDO a highly-competitively breastpump in the market.

(e) Overall Value: ★★★★★

This is a summary of the approximate retail prices (as of Mar 2012):

Amaryll Manual Breastpump Calypso Single Electric Breastpump Calypso-to-go Double Electric Breastpump Package
Singapore SGD66 SGD338 SGD533
Malaysia RM162 RM828 RM1,288
– Add Amaryll KombiKit (for manual pumping):
SGD38 / RM93
– Add Calypso UpgradeSet (for double pumping):
SGD59.90 / RM148

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In my opinion, the ARDO breastpumps are very competitively priced and yet they’re raising the bar with new standards such as different breast shell sizes, membrane pots, and a unique guarantee.

I’m a Stay-At-Home-Mum who breastfeeds directly all the time, and only needs a breastpump occasionally. So if I were to pay out of my own pocket, I’d select the Amaryll Manual Breastpump for my very light usage.

For working mums, I think the Calypso-to-go Double Electric Breastpump Package seems very attractive. You’d love the discreet pumping!

What we like about it:

  • Very quiet electric pump
  • Choice of breast shell size for a good fit
  • Easy-to-use IndividualPhases (simply choose suitable Vacuum and Cycle options)
  • Silicone membrane pots keep the tubes clean
  • Unique ARDO guarantee — 2 years from EDD or 400 hours of use, whichever is later

What can be improved:

  • Bottle: dark-coloured calibrations (especially for Mummies pumping in the middle of the night. That’s me!)
  • Instruction manual: include how to handle the double breastpump with both hands

Get Your Own (with Promotion!)

To get your own ARDO Breastpump, visit the list of ARDO distributors here.

If you’re from Singapore, you may enjoy this promotion:

  • Free 1 week trial of Calypso Electric Breastpump by purchasing hygienic personal pumpset
There’re 2 choices of pumpset:
  1. Pumpset with 26mm breast shell, at SGD42.90
  2. Calypso UpgradeKit: Pumpset with 3 sizes of breast shells (26mm, 28mm, 31mm) & OptiFlow Massage Insert,  at SGD59.90

ARDO Service Centre (Malaysia)

Questo Marketing
44A Jalan SS 20/10,Damansara Kim,
47400 Petaling Jaya,Selangor
Tel: +603 7725 8699

Contact person: Sylvia Puah (HP: +6016 212 8897)

P.S. Another Mummy (from Malaysia), Smelly Butt’s Ama, has also reviewed the ARDO Calypso Double Breastpump and has tips on stimulating a second let-down reflex. She has loads of frozen EBM and generously donates them too. Check out her review at La La Land here.

Disclosure: I received 1 ARDO Calypso, 1 Calypso UpgradeSet and 1 Amaryll Kombikit for review. Because of the high value of the review sample, the sponsor was given free advertising space for a limited period of time.

Mummy’s Reviews™ is a review site that receives compensation if readers make purchases from affiliate links (these are marked with an *). If we receive compensation from the companies whose products we review, this would be disclosed. These compensation help to maintain and grow Mummy’s Reviews™. We test each product thoroughly and give ratings according to our experience with it. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

22 Responses leave one →
  1. June permalink
    April 10, 2012

    Hi,

    My boy usually only suckles from 1 side at each drink session.
    Are you able to achieve let-down immediately after feeding 1 side at night, when you use Ardo dual pump or manual pump to pump the other breast?
    I’m having difficulty getting the other side to let down with Ameda pump after feeding my boy, so need to get your comment on this :)

    • April 10, 2012

      Hi June, Jae usually feeds on both sides. When he drinks from the first side, the other side sometimes let down on its own and leak. So if he only drinks from one side and I need to pump the other side, achieving let-down is relatively easy. This is possible with either the manual or electric pump.

      Have you tried massaging the breasts before pumping? I get better supply with massaging before pumping and manual expression after pumping.

      Happy breastfeeding! :)

      • June permalink
        April 10, 2012

        Hi MieVee,

        I see, I’ll try massaging before pumping, hopefully it’ll help to achieve a second let down for the pump much faster ^_^

  2. lin permalink
    April 13, 2012

    i plan to purchase ardo breastpump in uk..does the warranty covers for udagd outside uk?is there a service centre for ardo in msia?

    • April 14, 2012

      Regarding warranty, please contact ARDO to confirm. Yes, there’s a service center in Malaysia. I’d send you a private email on the ARDO rep’s contact for further enquiry.

      Update: Please contact Jingle Box for information on warranty and servicing.

  3. Janet permalink
    May 29, 2012

    Hi

    Is this pump really good? I am going to deliver my 2nd baby next week. Yet to decide to get a dual pump or not. I have a manual avent pump for standby.

    For my first baby, i got medela freestyle, it was a disappointing machine. The LC in the hospital commented not good. I was so disheartened and on the verge of crying on hearing this. Then they let me tried medela pisa. Some milk is squeeze out and they encourage me to get pisa. Oh man, i spent on freestyle as i want a light weight and easy to bring around. So on the same day, i get this heavy machine as i want to feed my baby breastmilk. Still it is a disappointed machine. I was not able to get more than 100ml on both breast each time. I gave up bf on my baby 2nd month. Prob it is not the machines fault. I was too stressed and crying non stop through out the confinement period. Oh ya what is the fate of the 2 machines, i sold them to buy formula milk.. FM is really expensive. 1 month i can spend at least $150. I was not able to latch baby correctly. So expressing is the alternative.

    This time round i hope i can bf at least 3 or more months. Been reading good review on this. Not sure if I should invest in it.

    • May 29, 2012

      Hi Janet, congrats on your baby’s arrival soon! Every pump has its pros and cons, and I’ve only tried 2 and am not a heavy user. As per the review, I really like the Ardo pump. But I hardly use it because I latch on directly at home.

      For the first 6-8 weeks, latching on directly at least 8-12 times days and night is the most effective way to raise supply to meet baby’s demands. It’s nature’s way. To boost supply a little, can use the pump AFTER latching, for 5-10 minutes, for extra stimulation. And to clear the other breast, if baby only feeds on 1 side. For this purpose, a manual pump will do.

      It can be tiring for the first few days. Yet once the latching is consistently done and the milk comes in welll at day 4-6, the sense of satisfaction is excellent! It’d be good if Mummy has someone to help with baby and just focus on feeding regularly. After feeding (30-60 min depending on baby’s demand), pass baby to caregiver and rest for 1-1.5 hours, then feed again. Or as per baby’s demand.

      Dual electric pump will be suitable when preparing to store milk for mums going back to work later on, and for use while working. You may decide on this later on?

      In case baby is unable to breastfeed directly in the early days for some reason, then Mummy will need to use HOSPITAL grade pump to stimulate supply. You may enquire with the hospital on rental. Usually, only need to get your own sterilised pump funnel.

      It’s also useful to get a qualified lactation consultant to visit you once you’re home, to check on your latch, and give you 1-to-1 advice.

      Some resources:
      http://kellymom.com/category/bf/got-milk/
      http://www.breastfeeding.org.sg/home/index.php

      Hope this helps. All the best! :)

    • Yvonne ang permalink
      May 31, 2012

      Hi Janet,

      It really depends on each individual as some feels manual pump no good due to tiring for the hands. To me I find it ok. But as Mievee say if u want to ebm when work electrical is better. Dual is save time if nt single also ok. If there is leak BM when u pump one side maybe can get a milk collector.

      Y nt u search the breast feeding organisation they do let u try available pumps in order u decide which is better for u before u purchase one. For the Mievee recommendation pump they do hv trial before u decide if to pump the unit. Hope this helps u. — yvonne ang

  4. Yvonne ang permalink
    May 31, 2012

    Hi Janet,

    I agree with Mievee. U hv to latch on in order to get more supply. In the initial stage is normal for ur milk nt coming in so much as bb oly needs a little amt but they feed many times. Tt is y if u want to fully pump out to feed bb u need to massage ur breast before pumping.

    I also ebm since my son was born due to he gt difficulties to latch on n I fully take care him in the nite. Is tough but u can do it. Don’t stress urself if nt BM will not be coming in. Drink more soup n pump every 2 to 3hrs. In the midnight at least pump once. BM will be sufficient by 3 mth to fully BM bb. I used up ard 2tin plus before I can fully BM bb even in the night.

    U can also drink nursing tea to relax urself n also boost BM. Hope this helps u!

  5. Evelyn permalink
    October 10, 2012

    Hi, I have upgraded from Medela Mini Electric Breast Pump to Ardo Calypso Double Breast Pump from July 2012. All these while I feel there is some noise on my breast pump, but it actually more “silent” compare to Medela. Until recently I sent my breast pump for warranty, and the PIC immediately replace a new one for me. Their service is very good and the staff is very good in manners.
    The thing I felt most difficult is to find their accessories. It is not easy for us to get from anywhere we want. I not staying in Klang, so… will have to jam all the way down to Enjoybreastfeeding to get the replacement.
    I think this is the only “weakness” I found after using the breast pump. Other than that, I can said it is very good. (give 4 of 5 stars)

  6. Jessly permalink
    May 15, 2013

    Hi MieVee,

    I am currently using medela swing and is looking for either a manual pump or double elec pump to replace swing (it will be wasted)… Will you recommend this ARDO in this case? Before I come across this brand, I am about to go for Avent single manual pump.

    • May 16, 2013

      Jessly, a double electric pump is much more efficient than a single manual pump. Of course, price is higher, so you’d need to consider which suits your needs better.

      My first pump was Avent Single Electric IQ. Somehow, the IQ part doesn’t work well for me. I ended up using it as a single manual pump and it served that purpose well. But it was a old version, non-BPA free, that’s why I needed a new pump and accepted ARDO.

      I haven’t tried Avent’s latest manual or electric pump, so can’t compare, in case there’re differences from the one I have.

      For ARDO, I’m happy with it when I used it and other reviews I read have been rather good. Hope this helps and happy breastfeeding! :)

  7. VenInn permalink
    July 2, 2013

    Hi MieVee,
    I’ve been using Ardo Calypso for almost 20 months and it works rather fine except some annoyance on the pump operation. My pump went dead out of sudden days ago and I’ve no choice to use my backup Spectra.
    May I have the Malaysia service center contact? I need to send my Ardo for repair if any? Or might as well get another new unit?

    • July 4, 2013

      Hihi Venlnn, great that you’ve been breastfeeding for almost 2 years! That’s my target for baby #3. :) I think the ARDO pump is covered for 2 years / 400 hours. Please contact Questo for information on warranty and servicing.

      All the best!

      • VenInn permalink
        July 4, 2013

        My Ardo just went dead exactly after 2 years warranty! Gosh! I might need to get a new Ardo if they can’t revive mine…@_@
        Yeah…I will carry on BF my 8 months old #2 baby to at least 2 yo and some extras for my 30 months old toddler if my hectic work life permits.

        A quick update; Jingle Box no longer distributing Ardo’s products.
        For warranty and servicing, Questo Marketing Malaysia can be contacted.

      • July 4, 2013

        I think the 2 years warranty is from baby’s birth, not the date of purchase. Hope you can get it revived. :)
        Really salute your commitment to expressing milk for your children, great inspiration to other breastfeeding working mummies.
        Thanks for the update on the servicing centre.

  8. Wong Yee permalink
    October 11, 2013

    Can I hv the Ardo service center in malaysia? Thank you

    • October 18, 2013

      Hi Wong Yee:
      ARDO Service Centre (Malaysia)

      Questo Marketing
      44A Jalan SS 20/10,Damansara Kim,
      47400 Petaling Jaya,Selangor
      Tel: +603 7725 8699

      Contact person: Sylvia Puah (HP: +6016 212 8897)

  9. rna permalink
    May 3, 2014

    Hi, do you still have those powerpoint slides the rep sent you? I have this pump (and love it) but I’d like to see anyway to check I’m doing things right! Alsoo how have you found the manual pump? I rarely need to pump on the go but have a day trip planned and will need to express.

    • May 16, 2014

      Hi rna, there’re Youtube videos for the pump, included in the post, under “First Impressions”. Manual pump is rather easy to use. Enjoy your day trip!

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