Author Archives: BFinCB

Review of Ardo Calypso Breast Pumps – Happy Mothers for Happy Babies

ArdoPumping is a chore, plain and simple. And serving in the military means you WILL have to pump since separation is a given.  So having a great breast pump that is easy to use, works well under various conditions, is durable and can take a beating (in the field), and has a long lifespan is a must.  Ardo, is a new(ish) breast pump company that hopes to entice you with the Calypso-To-Go and Double Plus electric breastpumps.

As a breastfeeding mother who pumped in the military, and an IBCLC, I have either owned or come into contact with MANY different breast pumps over the years! A breast pump is a breast pump is a breast pump. They all need to do one thing really well and that is to remove milk from your breasts.  What sets most breast pumps apart from one another are the amenities:  what settings does it have, how effective is it at removing milk, what extras come with the pump to make your pumping easier or more enjoyable (if there is such a thing…)?  Does Ardo hit the mark? Does it offer a breast pump that is effective for military moms?  Read below for my review of the Calypso pumps from Ardo.  *Breastfeeding in Combat Boots received a complimentary Calypso Double Plus breast pump.*  

The Calypso Double Plus came with 2 pump sets with flanges (26 mm and 31 mm), 2 breast flange inserts (28 mm), 2 Optiflow 26 mm flanges, a brush for cleaning, a bottle holder, battery compartment, power adapter, and 2 lip valves (also known as the duckbill valves). The PROS: These pumps are marketed as being extremely quiet and I would agree, it is no louder than a hum (nice for a cubicle farm or pumping in a tent surrounded by fellow soldiers). It is a compact unit with an easy-to-read electronic display. It has a single piston and weighs less than a pound. It can be used with electricity in ANY country in the world with an overseas adapter or with six AA batteries installed. The pump is warrantied for one year *or* an extended 400 hour option (nice for military moms who may use the pump heavily) is available.  All of Ardo’s pumps are a true closed system due to the “Vacuum Seal” technology that prevents air and milk exchange between the tubing/flanges and motor (useful for dirty areas or places where HAZMAT may be aerosolized in the environment).  All Ardo pumps feature piston construction and the Calypso has 64 settings for independent control of suction and cycling. Something different with the Calypso is that the pump “holds on” to the nipple and then pushes it back slowly during the cycling phases, as opposed to other pumps that let go suddenly and the nipple “rubber bands” back to start the next cycle. This is hard to explain, but it does make the pump feel better on the nipples.

PROS

  • Compact
  • Quiet
  • Easy-to-read display
  • Closed system
  • 64 settings, independent cycles/suction
  • Single or double pumping
  • 3 sizes of flanges included
  • AC or battery operation, worldwideArdo Calypso
  • WHO-Code compliant
  • BPA-free parts
  • 400 hour or 1 year warranty

CONS

  • Suction not as strong as expected
  • No letdown button
  • No rechargeable battery
  • No timer or memory function for settings last used
  • Optiflow flanges are small

As noted under the CONS section, I found that the suction wasn’t as strong as other pumps I’ve tested with my strain gauges nor did it feel as strong to me while using it. As an IBCLC, I am concerned that over time that this might affect milk production if you are struggling with supply issues to begin with. The lack of a ‘letdown’ button that allows for the preset fast cycles and low suction is a must for many moms, and having to remember to do it yourself, or switch it after a few minutes to slower cycles and stronger suction could impact some women’s milk supply (it’s also a pain to manually switch the settings, especially if you aren’t wearing a hands-free bra). A rechargeable battery that can run for a number of hours at full effectiveness is very important for military moms and would be a welcome addition.  Motor strength falls off noticeably when using “AA” batteries. While it is great that Ardo includes various breast flange sizes with the pump (cause we all aren’t the same size, right?) the Optiflow soft massaging inserts make the flanges feel too small to me (and I am NOT a large breasted woman), but every woman is different and I am sure many moms would find them useful.  Finally, I have received a few first-hand reports of the pump motor just unexpectedly giving out for no apparent reason (which could be a major problem during a deployment or field training).  However, this can happen with ANY breast pump and is not a reason to dismiss the Ardo Calypso pumps.

Overall I feel that Ardo is on the right tract and has a solid breast pump. I give the pump a “B” compared to the many other pumps on the market. With a few tweaks and minor upgrades for a 2.0 version it would definitely be a “A” pump. TRICARE covers Ardo breast pumps.  Check with your chosen vendor for what they offer and any upgrades available to you.  You can view a listing of TRICARE breast pump vendors at our TRICARE Lactation Policy page.

Ardo Calypso-To-GoArdo and Breastfeeding in Combat Boots have teamed up together to provide military breastfeeding mothers with the support they need to be successful at breastfeeding while serving in the military. Enter the giveaway (ARDO) by March 28 and ONE lucky winner will receive an Ardo Calypso-To-Go Breast Pump (with all the items shown) and a copy of the book, “Breastfeeding in Combat Boots” and BFinCB water bottle (pink or clear) total value of $350. Winners will be announced March 31st. In addition, we are pleased to announce that Ardo is sponsoring BFinCB for the months of March and October, to further Advocate, Inform, and Support all military mothers who are Giving the Breast for Baby and Country.

“We support military moms because we support all moms. No matter what unique challenges moms have, we believe in empowering them to breastfeed successfully, however that looks to them. Every mom is a warrior in her own way and military moms are certainly no exception. Our products are an excellent solution for military moms because Ardo, as a company, is committed to making products that moms can use around the world and be assured of the quality and reliability. We manufacture to the highest standards demanded by moms who can choose from many brands in many countries. We are committed to the best customer service, the best products and the best support for all moms.”  You can find Ardo on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Have you used the Ardo Calypso-To-Go breast pump?  Did you like it? Is this a pump you would consider for a full-time working mother in a demanding profession?  Leave a comment below.  

Lactalite Breast Pump Lights – Light Up Your Pumping Experience

Breastfeeding in the military provides additional challenges for the nursing mother, such as pumping at night, in the middle of a field, or the back of an aircraft. Lactalite, a company founded by an emergency room physician and his wife, recently launched a line of breast pump lights to remedy those types of situations. Lactalite… Continue Reading

SOS – Supporting Our Breastfeeding Military Moms Post-Election

Breastfeeding in Combat Boots (BFinCB) is a non-profit dedicated to Advocating, Informing, and Supporting ALL breastfeeding mothers serving in the military. This is not a political post and BFinCB does not endorse or contribute to any political causes or figures. The recent presidential election has been tough for all, no matter which side of the… Continue Reading

Miss Military Mom Launches T-Shirt Line

Breastfeeding at work provides challenges for every nursing mother, but nursing military moms face additional obstacles with the regulation uniforms required for all active duty personnel.  Miss Military Mom, a company founded by a new mother serving in the US Armed Forces, recently launched a line of breastfeeding T-shirts for nursing mothers in the military… Continue Reading

Normalize Breastfeeding in the Military (Or Why Military Brelfies are Important)

What do you see when you look at this photo of 6 active duty women, representing the Air Force, Army, and Navy, breastfeeding their children on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC? Do you see six mothers who are able to combine the rigors and challenges of serving in the military with… Continue Reading

Guest Post: The Breastfeeding Shop

Hi! I am the proud owner of The Breastfeeding Shop! I am a mom of 2 little boys, an entrepreneur and a supporter of breastfeeding. Put those things together and The Breastfeeding Shop was born! I have always been a working mom, and I had to go back to work after baby #1 was born… Continue Reading

Military CAH Game Pokes Fun at Breastfeeding. It’s Not Funny.

You may have seen the post on Army Times about the new Cards Against Humanity (CAH) style game, Disgruntled Decks, the hilarious — and at times *very* offensive — brainchild of 1st Lt. Matthew Coble.  He wanted to adapt Cards Against Humanity for a military audience, so he set about forming a community online from… Continue Reading

SecDef Announces 12 Weeks Maternity Leave and More

Today the Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, announced as part of his Force of the Future initiative, a DoD-wide expansion of maternity leave (no longer called convalescent leave) to 12 weeks among other initiatives.  This move increases the maternity leave for Army and Air Force personnel by 6 weeks, but also reduces by 6 weeks… Continue Reading

WBW 2015: Let’s Make It Work (in the Military)

It’s World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) which runs every year from Aug 1-7 and this year’s theme is “Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s Make It Work”. World Breastfeeding Week is a chance to highlight the importance of breastfeeding for mothers and babies.  This year the focus is on encouraging everyone to understand needs of working women who… Continue Reading

Celebrating Breastfeeding Support in the Military this 4th of July!

There is much to celebrate this 4th of July if you are a breastfeeding mom serving in the military. There have been a number of amazing changes in policy that offer more support for breastfeeding, and motherhood in general in the military, than any other time in the past decade. Keep in mind though that… Continue Reading

Our Vision

To create a community where military mothers can share experiences, find information, and offer support in order to successfully breastfeed their babies while serving in the military.

Our Mission

BFinCB is committed to advocating, informing and supporting all breastfeeding personnel serving in the military.

Contact Us

14103 229th St Ct East.

Graham, WA 98338

USA

253-904-7734


Disclaimer

This is not an official DOD website. The information and links on the BFinCB website are for educational purposes only. Visitors are encouraged to consult with their health care providers and/or legal to obtain relevant information and discuss their options in order to make safe and informed choices. We welcome all inquiries, but will not suggest any medical or legal course of action. This nonprofit site is funded solely through donations. No advertisements are accepted.