If you’re a nursing mother who needs to express milk regularly, the Haakaa breast pump can be a lifesaver. This simple, easy-to-use manual pump is ideal for occasional use, and it’s small enough to take with you when you’re on the go.
Plus, the suction action of the Haakaa is so gentle that it can be used even if you have inverted nipples. Here, we’ll teach you how to use a Haakaa so that you can effortlessly build your freezer milk stash.
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What is a Haakaa?
A Haakaa is a manual breast pump that is made out of silicone and is inserted onto the breast like a nipple shield. It is activated by suction on the stem, rather than electric power from an electric pump.
The suction causes the pump to create a vacuum and extract milk from the breast or catch the letdown while you breastfeed on the other side.
How to use a Haakaa
The Haakaa breast pump can be a lifesaver but you have to know how to use a Haakaa correctly or else it will fall off and you could spill all that liquid gold. Here’s how to use a Haakaa:
1. Evert the flange
Push the pump flange all the way down towards the base of the pump.
2. Place your nipple into the flange
Place the Haakaa onto your breast with your nipple inside the middle of the pump.
3. Squeeze the bulb of the pump
With your nipple at the base of the flange and the flange still folded down, squeeze the bulb of the pump. This will cause suction to your breast.
4. Pull the flange back into place
Flip the flange back up into place on your breast.
How I used a Haakaa to build my freezer stash
For all three of my babies, I have primarily used the Haakaa to build my freezer milk stash while exclusively breastfeeding.
It can be hard to have time in my schedule to fit in pumping while I am exclusively breastfeeding. Here’s how I used a Haakaa to build my freezer stash.
This is why I loved the Haakaa breast pump. While Breastfeeding on one side with my baby, I would attach the Haakaa to the opposite breast to catch all the milk flow that would otherwise go to waste leaking all over my breast pad.
After my baby is breastfeeding on one side, I will remove the Haakaa and place it on a table so it won’t spill and have my baby then nurse on the side that the Haakaa used the be on.
The great thing is, this can also boost your supply by putting the extra demand on each breast.
If you would like, you could place the milk into a storage bag and put the empty Haakaa breast pump onto the breast that the baby just finished nursing on to see if you can catch another letdown.
Once I am done breastfeeding, I will pour all of the breast milk into the storage bag, label it, and place it in the freezer.
I do this every time I breastfeed my baby in the day and I have had my freezer overflowing just by consistently using the Haakaa pump while I breastfed my baby.
How can a Haakaa be useful?
Now it’s great for effortlessly building my freezer stash but there are many other benefits and uses with the Haakaa.
1. Pulling out extra milk while breastfeeding on the other side
It will not only just catch the letdown that would usually go to waste but the suction also pulls more breast milk out getting you more to store for later.
If you have a single pump this would also be helpful to catch the other side while you pump.
2. When you don’t want to carry pumping gear or you’re short on time
Pumping can come with a lot of gear and it can be hard to bring it around while you are on the go or if you don’t have a lot of time.
This pump is so small, that you can really bring it everywhere. It’s also a lot faster and easier than a traditional pump.
3. Catching your letdown
If you hear another baby cry or even in the shower, you will start to letdown.
It’s not always possible to pull out the pump or your baby when this happens but you can pop the Haakaa on real quick to catch it.
4. If you have a hard time emptying your breasts
Some women have a hard time fullying emptying their breasts with a pump or after they nurse.
If you are a breastfeeding mom that has a hard time with this you can use this after you nurse or pump to get as much out as possible.
5. Getting out clogged milk ducts
The Haakaa has a great hack for getting clogs out. Add epsom salt with warm water into your pump.
Suction the pump onto your breast. Let the warm salt water soak the clog for 10-15 minutes.
Add more suction if necessary to help pull the clog out.
6. If you have a strong letdown
It can be challenging to nurse your baby if you have a strong letdown.
They have a hard time swallowing so much milk at once and typically start to choke on it, leaving you exposed and leaking everywhere while you help your baby.
If you have a strong letdown, then pop on the Haakaa to catch the letdown first before you place your baby on.
You can store the milk for later and your baby will be more comfortable while they nurse.
Why I love the Haakaa breast pump
There are so many uses with this manual breast pump but there are some other reasons why I love it so much.
It’s easy to clean
An electric breast pump comes with a lot of parts that you have to clean. They certainly are useful and have their place but I love that the Haakaa silicone breast pump is just one piece so you can easily clean it and it’s ready to be used again.
Easy to use
This breast pump is so easy to use. You don’t need any batteries or an outlet. Just pull the flange down, squeeze the bulb, bring that flange back up and it starts working.
You aren’t tied to a pump
An electric breast pump has a lot of gear and can be a lot to carry around. Plus, it can be hard to be tied down to an outlet or just by the motor while you have little kids that need you.
It’s so quiet
Have you ever tried to have a conversation on the phone while you are using an electric pump? They are loud and you will inevitably get the person on the other line asking what is that sound?
The Haakaa breast pump is silent, so if you are trying to be quiet next to a sleeping baby or you are on the phone, they won’t hear your pump.
It’s the most affordable breast pump out there. If you are on a budget, this is a great option.
Can the Haakaa pump help increase your milk supply?
The milk supply is regulated by a system of demand and supply. That implies that the more milk you take away from your breasts (the “demand”), the more milk they will create (the “supply”).
As a result, if utilizing a Haakaa helps you remove more breast milk, it can help to increase your supply.
Additionally, if you are having difficulty producing enough milk, using a Haakaa may help to increase your production.
What to look for in a silicone pump
There are many brands that make a pump similar to the Haakaa. Here are some things to consider when buying one.
How much breast milk it can hold
They range from 2 to 5 ounces. I prefer it to hold 5 ounces since I can fill it up quickly in the first few months of breastfeeding but that will depend on how much milk will letdown for you.
Suction cup to stay in place
Some have a suction on the bottom which is an awesome feature. You might think that you placed it in a safe spot while you finish tending to your baby, but you would be surprised how easily and how often it will get knocked over and you are left with all that spilled milk. The suction on the bottom is a game-changer for me.
Lid or stopper to avoid spills
Having a lid or a stopper is great for avoid spills. I also like to place the filled pump into the fridge from time to time if I can’t get to putting it into a storage bag right away.
I prefer a lid rather than a stopper. The stopper is cute but if you have a toddler running around, it could possibly end up in their mouth and it is too small to be putting into their mouths and it being safe.
Traditional silicone breast pump or fits in your bra
They now make these silicone pumps that fit in your nursing bra. This is a discrete way to catch the letdown. It also avoids an upset baby flailing their arms and knocking the pump right off of you.
I don’t know if the suction of the hands-free pump is as great as the traditional silicone pump so if you really want to get as much breast milk out as possible, then you might want to stick to the traditional silicone breast pump.
The Haakaa breast pump is an essential tool for any nursing mother. It’s easy to use, portable and can be a lifesaver in situations where you need to express milk but can’t use an electric pump. Be sure to choose a pump that meets your needs, and enjoy the convenience of being able to express milk anywhere, anytime!
Be sure to read How to Triple Feed Your Baby with a Sample Schedule and When to Start Pumping Breast Milk