Thursday 26 June 2014

Keep Britain Breastfeeding: Expressing

I love expressing milk now, why? Because it's the only way I can actually see 'how much' I'm getting out! Recently we found out that Isabelle is dairy intolerant, which explains why she hasn't gained much weight since birth, why she had dark green poos, lots of wind and blood in her nappies. The hospital have given me special formula milk to 'top up' her feeds if I want to, to top up her feeds but if I can I'd much prefer to make more milk. The doctor offered me a anti-sickness pill which one of it's side effects is to cause breastfeeding mothers to produce more breast milk - sounds great but I didn't really want to take another pill... Her sensitive tummy doesn't need anything else right now so instead I started expressing and over the last 2 weeks I can tell the difference of when I express and when I don't. 

Firstly let me tell you about the breastpump I'm using now, I absolutely love it! Even the nursery nurse who comes to weigh Isabelle was impressed at how silent it is. It's the Ardo calypso double electric - at first I was a bit wary of electric breast pumps due to using a 'well known' branded one before which hurt me and sounded like 'clunk clunk' but I am so thankful I've had the chance to try this Ardo one, it's not hurt me at all - I think thats due to it fitting me correctly and having different settings for cycle and vaccum, making it ideal to match whatever stage my baby is currently at. Now due to Isabelle being dairy intolerant I have cut out all dairy from my diet so I can continue to breastfeed her because thats what I really want and due to her not gaining much weight I spent a week where I was eating more as they suggested and pumping to see how much I had... in that week Isabelle gained 7oz!! Our biggest ever, usually it was 1 or 2oz but this was amazing. Then we got ill with colds and the steriliser that I had been using to sterilise the pump broke - no more pumping for a while and eating less due to feeling so poorly and she only gained 4 and half oz so the expressing really helped us and now we've got a temp microwave steriliser I'm going to be expressing again, eating and drinking more to make sure we have a good weight gain next week. 

Why I love the Ardo Calypso double breastpump?
Well firstly and most importantly because it doesnt hurt me. This is the only breastpump I've had that you can choose which breast shell fits your breast correctly, included in the box is a few different sizes and breast shell inserts too meaning you get the right fit just for you unlike another brand I've used which had one size and it clearly was not correct for me because it left me in a lot of pain.  It's a fantastic idea to include different sizes because no two women are the same so why provide just one size? Also this Ardo one is fantastic because unlike the other pumps I've had this one lets you pick what speed of pumping you want with 'vaccum' and 'cycle' buttons. I start off with lots of cycle - more sucking with gentle vaccum then I slowly even it out until the vaccum lasts longer without hurting me, you can see whatever works for your body. Theres 64 different combination of settings possible for you to decide from!

I love the fact this pump is so quiet, meaning I can actually express while Isabelle is asleep in the same room as me without waking her up, the other pump I've used would not allow this because it was just too noisy. You can either use it with the mains adapter provided or you can use batteries which is great because it enables you to pump wherever you are comfortable.
Closed system - I had no idea what they meant by this to begin with so I thought I'd copy what Wikipedia says:
'A closed collection system has a barrier or diaphragm that separates the pump tubing from the horn. In this design, the suction of the pump motor lifts the diaphragm to create a vacuum within the collection system to extract milk. An open system allows for the free passage of air/suction.'

'When an open collection system is used, the pump’s suction can cause milk to overflow it into the collection system tubing, which may lead to milk particles being drawn into the pump motor.'
And thinking back, the other one wasn't a closed system so this breastpump is actually much more hygienic which is very important, especially when its something used to feed your baby. It's also BPA free.

I also love that expressing means others can feed Isabelle too, Daddy & Oliver both loved it.

I've found that when I've used this breastpump I've made alot more milk and after a few times using it I noticed that my milk was coming out faster. I love that having double breastpump means I can do both at the same time, meaning I'm sat here for half the time. Ocassionally I have expressed one boob while she feeds on the other and she didn't mind at all, it was so quiet she didn't get bothered by it at all. I feel more confident using this breastpump selecting the settings that are right for me and knowing the vacuum seal is protecting my milk from possibly being contaiminated. The ON/OFF button is easy to use - it's actually important to be able to get it on/off easily.

Inside the box what you will find:
Calypso Breastpump
Breast shells - 26mm & 31mm 
Shell insert - 28mm
Optiflow 26mm
Cleaning brush
Bottle stand
Mains adapter
So if like me, you've tried a manual pump and hated it or tried a 'well known' branded electric pump and didn't get on with that then I can assure you, you will be very impressed with this Ardo one. It's really helped me and I'm amazed at it helping Isabelle gain 7oz in one week, it's our biggest ever gain and I know it's to do with the extra pumping so thank you Ardo Medical for gifting us this lovely pump!

Mary-Kate, x

please note that even though this Ardo breastpump was given to me to review, all of the opinions are my own, I genuinely cannot fault this item! I love it.
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  1. not being able to get pregnant when breast feeding

  2. I was told it wouldn't hurt! Which is completely untrue in my case - but just in general I think it's fair to say that although it shouldn't 'hurt', it will feel a bit uncomfortable for a week or two.

  3. It's easy! I think every mom struggles at one point.

  4. I was told that it takes too long and is a waste of time..........


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