Before my second baby I’d never even heard of the Haakaa silicone breast pump. Then someone on a mom Facebook page started a thread about how AMAZING the pump is, so I decided to check it out.
Fast forward to today: Learning how to use Haakaa has changed my milk pumping life!
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I used to dread electric pumping. There were so many parts to clean and I had to turn the suction up until it was uncomfortable in order to get milk out ‘quickly’ (which meant spending like 40 min to get 2-3 oz. Ugh).
I’m sure I missed out on some good self-care away from baby because I just didn’t want to pump.
Now I love my silicone breast pump (sometimes on it’s own and sometimes to double pump with my electric). The Haakaa is fast, gets the milk out (even though my breasts don’t leak), and is super comfortable.
And, it’s only ONE piece! It’s so easy to clean, store, and take anywhere I need it.
WHAT IS THE HAAKAA?
The Haakaa is a one piece breast pump made of soft, food-grade silicone. It attaches to the breast with suction and draws the milk out. It’s designed mainly as a breastmilk catcher, so it collects milk while you’re nursing by attaching to the breast that your baby isn’t using.
A lot of women leak milk from the opposite breast when they’re nursing, so using a silicone breast pump saves all that milk that would have otherwise been wasted.
But, even if you don’t leak, the Haakaa can still collect milk while you feed your baby. I rarely leak but I can often get 2-3 oz in a 15 minute nursing period (if I’m hydrated and pumping in the morning).
The pump can also be used while you’re electric pumping on one breast, when your breasts are you engorged, and some women are able to use it to express milk anytime.
Not only is the Haakaa an awesome, functional product, it’s eco friendly, BPA, PVC, and pthalate free, and made by a 100% family owned company, so you can feel all warm and fuzzy when you buy it.
WHAT MAKES THE HAAKAA GREAT?
- The Haakaa breast pump has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon, with hundreds of reviews, so you know it’s quality
- It’s easy to clean
- It’s small
- It’s only one piece (no tubes)
- It’s great for travelling
- It’s an easy way to relieve engorged breasts
- It’s cheap
- More comfortable than electric pump
- Doesn’t make any noise
- Can help you double pump while using your single electric pump
DOWNSIDES TO THE HAAKAA
- It doesn’t measure ounces correctly (I like to pour my milk into a bottle to measure how much there is after using the Haakaa)
- Many people can’t use the Haakaa unless they are nursing or pumping on the other side
- It’s easy to knock over once you set it down (but you can buy this stopper to fix the problem).
HOW TO ATTACH THE HAAKAA BREAST PUMP
Turn the lip of the opening inside out. Put your nipple in the neck of the pump, and make sure it’s comfortable. Then flip the lip of the opening back over your breast. The pump should be suctioned to your breast pretty securely.
Pro Tip: I like to keep a mug close by while I pump to set the Haakaa in once it’s full. This keeps the pump standing up, and I’m less likely to spill my milk all over while I take baby off the breast.
HOW TO USE THE HAAKA BREAST PUMP
Before using the the Haakaa breast pump make sure you sterilize it in boiling water and have something sterile ready to store your milk in after you have pumped.
If you’re going to use this silicone pump while nursing, get your baby latched and happily nursing before attaching the pump. Once baby is feeding, attach the Haakaa to your breast and just let it do its thing!
When you’re nursing or electric pumping on the other side, your let down will be stimulated and the silicone breast pump should start collecting milk with no extra effort from you. If you are not nursing or pumping on the other side, it may be more difficult to get the milk started. Check out the tips below if you need help collecting milk with the Haakaa.
DEALING WITH HAAKAA PROBLEMS
WHAT TO DO IF HAAKKAA ISN’T PUMPING ENOUGH MILK
If the Haakaa pump doesn’t seem to be pumping enough milk for you, here are a few things to try:
Drink more water: I find I have a hard time collecting milk from my silicone pump if I’m not drinking enough. After I drink a few glasses of water and wait a bit, I’m usually able to pump more milk.
Massage your breast: if your milk needs a little help coming out, try massaging your breast while the pump is suctioned to you.
Apply pressure: to encourage the milk to come out, put your hand in a c shape around your breast and apply pressure to the breast.
Use a warm compress: Warm up a cloth or a heating pad and place it on the breast to stimulate milk flow.
Pump in the morning: If you’re like me, your milk supply is bigger in the morning (especially during the first feed of the day). Try pumping with the Haakaa first thing if you’re not able to get much milk out later in the day.
CREATING A MILK STASH WITH A HAAKAA BREAST PUMP
I know when I first got the Haakaa I wondered if it would be able to pump enough milk to give me a small milk stash. I’m a stay-at-home mom so I didn’t need a crazy amount of milk storage, but I wanted enough to be able to go out once or twice a week without baby.
While I haven’t made a super big stash, I now know that it’s possible to build milk storage while breastfeeding using only the Haakaa.
Building a milk stash with a silicone pump takes more thinking ahead than using an electric pump, but it’s doable.
First figure out how much milk you can pump in a single nursing session with the Haaka. For me it’s about 2 oz if I pump in the morning.
Next figure out how much your baby needs to eat at each feeding (Google and some experimenting can help with that). For example, my baby needs to eat about 5 oz each time she feeds right now, so I need 3 nursing/pumping sessions with the Haakaa to get one full bottle for baby (with 1 oz left over).
Decide how much pumped milk you’ll need to use during the week (for me that’s probably 1-2 bottles or 3-6 Haakaa-only pumping sessions), and pump a bit more than you need. Before you know it, you’ll have a nice little milk stash.
I’m not sure whether a Haaka would work for someone who is exclusively pumping (I think it would be hard to make it work) but it’s absolutely perfect for somebody who just needs to leave their baby with someone else for a few hours each week.
GIVE THE HAAKAA A TRY
If you’re looking for the easiest way to pump, the Haakaa is it. And even if you’re unsure, it’s so affordable that it won’t hurt to give it a try. Who knows, you may end up loving pumping more than you knew you could!
Okay…love is a strong word, but the Haakaa might help you tolerate pumping more so you can get back to self-care sooner – that’s what it did for me – and that’s pretty important!
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