As the Black Eyed Peas once said: “Pump it! (LOUDER!) Pump it! (LOUDER)”
Yes, pumping your breast milk can be a noisy affair. My husband has likened the noise of some of the electric breast pumps I’ve used to the lowing of a cow.
I’ve tried without success to use an electric pump while on the phone without my interlocutor perceiving and puzzling over the noise. Peace and quiet is something I pursue constantly yet rarely attain, since young children don’t have volume controls. And since there is very little I can do to get 50% quieter children, I am pleased to announce that I have now discovered an electric breast pump that is 50% quieter than the competition. (It is dubbed the quietest breast pump ever tested, and they have the audio files to prove it!)
The Ardo Calypso is a double electric pump that meets my very specific breast pump criteria, developed over my now nearly 500 hours spent expressing milk for my twins. (I can already hear myself lording this over them when they’re complaining about something I make them do as teenagers … “Boys, I spent 1000 hours pumping breast milk for you so you could eat! The least you can do is unload the dishwasher!”) I need a pump that is portable (the Calypso takes six AA batteries); I need a pump that allows for individual and precise control of pump speed and suction level; I need a pump that is easy to clean. Not only does the Calypso meet all of these criteria, it also adds something new to the mix, setting it apart from the other pumps I’ve tried. And that, my friends, is how quiet it is. I pump during FaceTime with my family and test them: “Can you hear my pump?” And they’re always shocked to know I’m pumping! (They’ve gotten used to the lowing cow noise of a breast pump along with my daughter’s squealing.)
The double electric Calypso pump is distributed in Canada by Chester’s Babies and can be purchased either in the Calypso To Go kit or the Calypso Double Plus. (It’s also available as a single electric pump, but if you’re exclusively pumping like me, you’ll need a double.) The To Go kit contains a bunch of extras that I would recommend most for moms planning to pump while at work: a fabulous tote bag, extra storage bottles, a cooler bag, plus a manual adapter to pump by hand. Both the To Go and Double Plus kits come with three sizes of breast shells (26 mm, 28 mm and 31 mm) and two Optiflow massage inserts that fit inside the 31 mm breast shell bringing it to 26 mm in size but with the added comfort of the silicone padding.
The three-piece pump set is very easy to assemble and very easy to clean: you have the silicone membrane that prevents milk from getting into the tubing or pump, the breast shell (one piece) and the valve. The breast shells attach onto standard bottles, so you can pump directly into your feeding bottles if desired.
The pump itself has up and down buttons to control the speed of suction and the amount of suction, with 64 possible settings in total. Ardo pumps are Swiss-made and considered hospital grade. Using six AA batteries, you can pump cordlessly for about five hours. I simply have two sets of six rechargeable batteries that I alternate if I’m not plugging in. When we drove from Calgary to Vancouver back in September, I was able to pump on the road with ease and without drowning out my son’s Spotify playlist.
I cannot tell you that I love pumping with my Calypso. But that’s because I can’t tell you I love pumping with anything. Unfortunately for this pump, it entered my life at a time when it would need to serve me handmade bon bons and massage my feet in order for me to love it. I’m all about keeping it real, and pumping for my twins is so far the most challenging parenting task I have encountered. I am so, so, so, so, so sick of pumping my milk. The one joy the Calypso most definitely brings me is its quietness. I can hear Netflix or a podcast easily over the sound of the pump, and promising myself another episode of my current bingeworthy show is one of the only things that gets me through a pumping session.
When I was still getting up multiple times to pump at night, the Calypso’s whisper would’ve been very much appreciated. I don’t often have to make business calls while I’m pumping, but this is a reality I know many working moms are all too familiar with. If you need to pump as discreetly as possible, this is your pump. Having tested all of the major brands available in Canada, I can confirm it is the quietest!
My favourite things about the Calypso:
- The quietest pump I’ve tried (you can’t hear it over FaceTime!)
- Easy to assemble and easy to clean
- Precise control over suction and speed
- Portable using six AA batteries
- Closed system for maximum hygiene
- One-year or 400-hours warranty
- Comes with three breast shell sizes in the box: no need to buy extra parts
The only thing I would love to see added to the Calypso, but this may be both cost and size prohibitive, is a built-in rechargeable battery.
If you need to pump it, and you don’t want it to be LOUDER! than your kids, then I would thoroughly recommend the Ardo Calypso!