New breastfeeding mom? Look no further. Learn how to use Haakaa to help you with breastfeeding and pumping.
What the heck is a Haakaa?
If you’ve never heard of this wonderful invention before, you may be imagining some sort of mystical or exotic tool or product for moms who adhere to natural and organic lifestyles.
Well, you’re half right.
The Haakaa is a breast pump made from natural materials – a silicone breast pump – that is designed to collect let-down milk while breastfeeding your baby.
But it’s not mystical or exotic. It was invented by a family in New Zealand and is actually a very simple breast pump that requires no bells-and-whistles to work.
In fact, you don’t even need to use your hands!
The word Haaka means having the strength to take on any challenge life throws at you – and there’s very few aspects of early motherhood more challenging than breastfeeding and pumping!
What is a Haakaa?
The Haakaa is a silicone breast pump that works without the aid of tubes, outlets or batteries, making it great for portability and ease of use.
The Haakaa silicone breast pump is made of materials that are BPA, PVC and Phthalate free, making it 100% green and safe for you and your baby.
Essentially, it’s a food grade breast pump and you can’t beat that!
You can pop the silicone pump into the dishwasher for super easy cleaning or sterilize them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.
The Haakaa actually doesn’t require any manual work and isn’t a manual pump.
It suctions onto your breast and pulls the breast milk out and collects as soon you have let-down – making milk flow easier!
This is a gentle suction and the pump flange feels natural on your breast for milk collecting.
Without the hassle of setting it up, the Haakaa makes pumping and quick and convenient.
It is designed to catch overflow milk from one breast while feeding your little one from the other. Catching extra milk – that precious milk – is a great way to build up your breastfeeding stash!
The best part – it’s budget-friendly and less expensive than an electric breast pump!
How to Use a Haakaa
Before you learn how to use Haakaa, or any breast pump for that matter, you need to wash and sanitize it. The instructions for the Haakaa recommend boiling the pump for 2-3 minutes (like I mentioned above).
For more help, check out this related post on my breast pump guide.
Dry the pump thoroughly with a clean cloth once sanitized.
When you’re ready, place the flange over your breast, positioning your nipple in the center of the tunnel. Give the base a squeeze to create suction.
Start nursing your baby on the other breast to begin letdown.
Here’s where the magic happens!
The Haakaa pump will begin to collect milk from your breast without having to touch it. You just stick it on, nurse on the other side, and let it do it’s thing.
However, if you do begin to lose section, simply readjust the pump and squeeze again.
When you’re done, squeeze lightly on the pump to remove it from your breast. Transfer the breast milk to a separate container or, if your model came with one, pop on the companion bottle nipple and feed your baby straight from the Haakaa!
Wash the pump in warm, soapy water and dry before storing your milk supply away for next time.
Super easy, right?
Does the Haakaa Help with Breast Milk Supply?
There is no scientific evidence floating around there that proves that the Haakaa breast pump will increase milk supply, but the anecdotal evidence is promising.
When it comes to milk production, your breasts are less likely to produce more milk if they spend more time being closer to full – making milk removal difficult.
It wouldn’t make sense to create more milk if there’s nowhere to put it, right?
So, the more time a breast spends closer to empty, the more milk it will produce.
This being the case, there’s a good chance that the let-down you pump with a Haakaa during breastfeeding empties the breast further and encourages more milk production.
However, if the Haakaa pumps what you would usually “leak” or let-down during a feeding session, it may not promote milk production any more than your body naturally does.
Every mom is different, so while it may help encourage milk supply for one mom, it may not provide this benefit to another.
At the end of the day, though, using the this milk catcher is all about catching that let-down that would have otherwise dissolved into your shirt or a nursing pad.
This will, in a way, increase the supply you have available to freeze or store.
When you purchase a Haakaa – the original milk collector – you are not limited to only one design! There are a few to choose from – most of them with upgraded features.
If you end up purchasing a basic Haakaa breast pump, you can always grab up some accessories for it.
And, it’s not difficult to learn how to use Haakaa pump either!
Here’s a list of the different Haakaa models:
Haakaa Manual Breast Pump
This is the most basic Haakaa breast pump on the market. Keep in mind that all other models operate just like this one – they just have different accessories and features.
If you’re on the fence about Haakaa, this is a great model to start with. As you fall in love with it, you can always pick up the additional accessories for it.
Haakaa with Suction Base
The original Haakaa design (above) does not feature a suction cup base. Without it, you risk the Haakaa tipping over when you sit it down.
(Don’t worry, though! I have a hack for that below!)
This model has a suction cup base, making it easy to stick it down while you reposition your little one during feeding or are ready to get up and go about your day.
Haakaa with Flower Stopper
This model comes with an adorable little flower stopper that fits into the top of the Haakaa when you are finished pumping to help stop any spills or messes.
It’s made from 100% food-grade silicone and will fit in the 4oz (100mL) and 5oz (150mL) Haakaa pumps.
Plus, if you decide to buy the basic model, you can always order the flower stopper separately.
Haakaa with Silicone Lid
This model of Haakaa pump comes with a silicone lid that helps to keep your Haakaa clean and sterile between uses.
Like the pump itself, the silicone lid is BPA-free and dishwasher safe.
It can also be purchased separately.
Haakaa Breast Shell Nursing Cup
Haakaa makes more than just breast pumps! They have amazing breastfeeding accessories to make the entire experience more enjoyable and comfortable.
This breast shell nursing cup protects your nipples from getting cracked and sore as well as keeping your shirts from getting wet from leaking boobs.
It’s also designed to collect those leaks instead of losing them to cloth nursing pads. However, it is not the same as the pump so it will not suction out any milk.
Haakaa Nipple Shield
The Haakaa nipple shield is uniquely designed to help with latch difficulties and flat or inverted nipples. It also helps with cracked and sore nipples.
The nipple head allows your baby to mimic a natural sucking rhythm and receive breastmilk.
This product is not, however, recommended for moms who are milk deficient, since you need to be able to fill the nipple with milk before using.
Make sure to also pick up some UV sterilisers for your baby bag or baby carrier as part of your breastfeeding essentials.
Haakaa New Mum Starter Pack
Excited to get started with a Haakaa?
You can always grab this Haakaa New Mum Starter Pack!
It includes one Haakaa breast pump (5oz/150mL), one Haakaa silicone flower stopper, one silicone leak-proof cap and one box of Haakaa disposable breast pads.
Everything you need to get started!
Haakaa Hacks for Pumping Moms
Haakaa breast pumps are notoriously easy to use, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make using them easier!
Here are some hacks for using your Haakaa pump when learning how to use Haakaa:
1. Use a Pumping Bra
While the Haakaa, especially the ones that feature the suction cup bottom, are designed for ease of use, it’s not fool-proof when it comes to breastfeeding an acrobatic baby.
When your little one is practicing gymnastics during a feed, they may end up kicking the Haakaa off your other breast.
To keep everything in place, try using a hands free pumping bra. You can position the Haakaa on one side and your baby on the other.
That way, everything stays in place!
2. Grab Some Hair Ties
Instead of investing in a hands-free pumping bra, you can secure the Haakaa in place using hair ties!
Just grab a couple of hair ties and loop one over the flange. Loop the other hair tie through the first one and hook it to your maternity bra clip.
This will hold the Haakaa in place while your little one practices their karate moves.
3. Balance Your Haakaa with a Coffee Cup
Haakaas designed without the suction cup bottom can be difficult to keep balanced since the pump can be top-heavy and tip over easily.
When you’re ready to sit your Haakaa down, keep a coffee cup nearby.
It’s the perfect size to hold your Haakaa and you can easily keep one at your regular spots around your home.
4. Use Your Haakaa to Clear Clogged Milk Ducts
Having a clogged milk duct can be a painful and uncomfortable experience for breastfeeding mothers.
There are many at-home remedies you can try to clear a clogged duct, but your Haakaa can do the trick!
Fill the Haakaa with warm water and a tablespoon of Epsom salt. Place it on your breast and squeeze to create suction.
The warm water plus the Epsom salt should pull out the clog from your milk duct. Relief!
5. Relieve Sore Nipples with Your Haakaa
Apart from clogged milk ducts, dry and cracked nipples is also a painful side-effect of breastfeeding.
There are many helpful creams and lotions on the market that can help alleviate the pain, but your Haakaa can help with this too!
Simply fill your Haakaa with a warm saline water mix and attach it so your nipple soaks in the water. No need to apply suction.
This will help promote healing and provide relief so you can continue to comfortably feed your little one.
Remember, though, that breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful by default. If cracked and sore nipples are an ongoing issue, check your latch or consult with a healthcare provider or lactation consultant.
6. Relieve Engorgement
When you first begin to breastfeed your baby, you’re going to notice engorgement. This happens when your body produces too much milk and causes your breasts to become large and sore.
You don’t need to use your Haakaa only when you are feeding your little one. If your breasts are engorged, use the Haakaa to suction out the excess milk.
You can then freeze and store the expressed milk for later use!
7. Collect Your Let-Down
The beauty of the Haakaa breast pump is that you can collect your letdown from one breast while your baby feeds from the other.
There’s a trick to it though.
Make sure you secure the Haakaa to your breast BEFORE you begin to breastfeed your little one. This ensures you collect the let-down while making sure you have the pump attached properly before breastfeeding.
8. Use a Haakaa Even If You’re Not Nursing
You don’t have to nurse your child to enjoy the benefits of a Haakaa pump.
The Haakaa pump can still be used even if you are using a manual or electric pump. Simply place it on the opposite breast to catch the let-down.
However, if you are exclusively pumping, you shouldn’t replace your pump with a Haakaa. The Haakaa does not have a high enough suction rate to properly pump all the milk from your breasts.
You can even learn how to use the Haakaa while nursing this way too!
Are You Ready to Haakaa?
There’s no doubt that a Haakaa can easily make your breastfeeding journey comfortable, enjoyable and stress free!
Make sure to add the Haakaa manual breast pump (and maybe baby monitors too) to your baby registry!
This simple and affordable product should definitely be included in your new-mom toolbox.
Have you tried a Haakaa? Let us know about your experiences in the comments!