Imagine this scenario: You’re nursing your newborn on the left side, but your letdown triggered milk flow from the right breast too. Your nursing pad is soaked. You might start to wonder: Is there a way to save all of that precious milk? I’m here to tell you that you can—with the haakaa.
Don’t worry, I’ll explain it all, including:
What is a Haakaa?
Haakaa Review Find Out How This Pump Can Help You Collect More Milk post by Mama Natural
The haakaa is a hands-free silicone breast pump that uses suction to draw milk out. Unlike other pumps, the haakaa is made from one single piece of 100 percent food-grade silicone. It doesn’t require any batteries, plugs, or tubing—it’s completely hands-free!
Another huge benefit of the haakaa is that it’s a great way to save excess milk. Many mamas find that, when their supply is still regulating, they tend to leak. Instead of use nursing pads or a cloth to sop up that milk, the haakaa catches it, so you can freeze it and give it to baby once they’re taking a bottle down the road.
The haakaa isn’t just for new mamas though. It can be used as a manual pump throughout your breastfeeding journey. Since it’s so small, it’s a great option to toss in your purse or overnight bag if you think you might need to express a bit of milk in a pinch.
How to Use a Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump
Using the haakaa couldn’t be easier. Here’s what the instructions recommend:
- Before the first use, wash and sanitize the pump. To do so, product literature recommends boiling the pump for 2-3 minutes, then drying thoroughly with a cloth.
- Before each use, situate yourself wherever you’ll be nursing your baby.
- Place the flange over your breast. Your nipple should be directly in the center of the tunnel.
- Squeeze the base and release to create suction.
- Nurse your baby as usual on the other side to trigger letdown.
- Allow milk to collect while you nurse. If suction begins to decrease, you may need to readjust. It is also helpful to have an additional collection vessel handy (like a breast milk storage bag or silicone freezer tray) in the initial days when milk supply is plentiful, just in case the haakaa fills up.
- Once done, remove the pump by squeezing lightly (careful not to spill that milk!) and transfer milk to storage containers or attach the companion bottle nipple (sold with some models) and feed baby.
- Wash the pump with warm, soapy water and store until next use.
But many mamas find there is an easier way to create better suction:
- Flip out the flange on the pump.
- Center the pump over the nipple.
- Squeeze the base of the pump.
- Release the pump and unfold the flange so that it covers your breast.
Types of Haakaa
Like most breast pumps, there is more than one model of the haakaa available. Let’s take a look:
Haakaa Manual Breast Pump
Haakaa Manual Breast Pump – Haakaa Review Find Out How This Pump Can Help You Collect More Milk post by Mama Natural
The Haakaa Manual Breast Pump (to buy) is the model that started it all. This model is budget-friendly, coming in under $13 for the 4-ounce pump. Because it is constructed of one solid piece of 100 percent food-grade silicone, it is incredibly easy to store, tote, and clean. Like all haakaa models, this one is free from BPA, PVC, lead, and phthalates.
Haakaa Orignal With Flower Stopper
Haakaa Orignal With Flower Stopper – Haakaa Review Find Out How This Pump Can Help You Collect More Milk post by Mama Natural
The Haakaa Orignal With Flower Stopper (to buy) comes with a cute flower, which acts as a cap to prevent spilled milk. This is the most popular model, because it is still affordable but comes with the flower stopper, which many mamas consider invaluable. Note: This can be a choking hazard as baby gets older and likes to put things in her/his mouth.
Haakaa Convertible – Haakaa Review Find Out How This Pump Can Help You Collect More Milk post by Mama Natural
For a slight upcharge, mamas can get the Haakaa Convertible (to buy), which allows you to add a nipple and turn the collected milk into a bottle for baby. This model is particularly nice when you’re using the haakaa on-the-go or traveling. If you don’t have access to a fridge to store the collected milk, turning it into a bottle means that you don’t have to waste the milk and your baby can enjoy it right away.
Haakaa With Suction Base
Haakaa With Suction Base – Haakaa Review Find Out How This Pump Can Help You Collect More Milk post by Mama Natural
The Haakaa With Suction Base (to buy) is another variation on the original model. It’s very similar, but is available in three different sizes: 3 ounce, 4 ounce, or 5.4 ounce. The bigger pump may be better for moms with overactive letdown or moms who plan on traveling a lot. This model also features a leak-proof lid and suction cup base to prevent spills.
Copycats – Haakaa Review Find Out How This Pump Can Help You Collect More Milk post by Mama Natural
The concept behind haakaa is starting to spread like wildfire and there are tons of copycat options, the most common of which are Bumblebee and Naturebond. Though both Bumblebee and Naturebond are less expensive than the haakaa, customers seem to have some reservations about straying from the original brand.
- Several reviewers on Amazon note that Bumblebee measurements on the pump appear to be slightly off.
- And a few reviewers say the suction on the Naturebond decreases after several washes.
Overall, though, Haakaa, Bumblee, and Naturebond all have about 75-77 percent 5-star ratings on Amazon. If you’re looking for a basic model, you can’t really go wrong. But, if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, the haakaa reigns supreme when you factor in options like suction bases, leak-proof lids, and the ability to convert into a bottle.
Haakaa Reviews From Other Moms
Haakaa Review: Mom breastfeeding and using the haakaa
“[I] can’t imagine breastfeeding without it! After going through multiple nursing pads on the daily and trying those in-bra milk catchers, the haakaa has been the only thing that keeps me dry and saves those precious ounces! Baby on one side, haakaa on the other!!” — Randi W.
“I didn’t touch my electric pump until the final week of my 12-week maternity leave, but still had a freezer stocked. I’d just hook it up to whatever side I wasn’t nursing. A few things that were key for me: I wish I had known this earlier on, but if you have a nursing/pumping hybrid bra—use it with the haakaa! It gives you a little extra security from baby’s wandering hands, or a droopy pump when it starts filling up. Also, take a coffee mug and designate it your haakaa mug. Some haakaas have a suction base, but overall they’re pretty unstable. A coffee mug ensures you won’t be crying over split milk.” — Megan C.
“Most people use it for collecting milk to build their stash, which I did a bit, but I also found it incredibly useful and helpful when I was having oversupply issues. Despite having a lot of milk, my daughter was still eating very frequently. The issue was that she was getting a lot of foremilk, which is very watery, and getting full on that before she could get to the good fatty hindmilk. I was able to use the haakaa to “pump” off an ounce or two on each side before feeding to help her get to the good stuff faster. My daughter started gaining weight better and then I was able to resolve my oversupply issues with block feeding.” — Rachel C.
“In the first 3 weeks since my daughter was born I’ve caught 100 ounces! When she wasn’t gaining fast enough, instead of supplementing with formula, I was able to use that caught milk.” — Jennifer W.
Though praise is overwhelming, some mamas say there’s a little bit of a learning curve:
“It was a little awkward with my son at first and I did accidentally knock it off my breast a few times, but otherwise a lifesaver!!” — Amanda K.
“Unless you need a large flange size, do not get the 5 ounce one. Even when I had a new small baby that didn’t move much during nursing, it was so cumbersome and in the way!” — Rachel D.
There were also a few mamas—particularly those with limited milk supply—who said the haakaa just didn’t work out for them.
“I was very disappointed in the haakaa, since there’s so many mamas that rave about the product. My supply was never great, though; barely produced enough to keep my daughter fed.” — Brandee M.
“I don’t leak at all. Even with all the tricks and hacks, I get drops!” — Anne L.
Common Questions About the Haakaa
Does the haakaa pump increase supply?
Your body produces milk on a supply and demand basis. This means that you can train your body to expect a certain number of nursing sessions. Using the haakaa can—in this way—help your body increase supply by stimulating letdown and milk flow. If you use this pump as directed—to catch milk that would otherwise leak on your breast pad—you probably won’t overstimulate your milk production. That being said, if you use the haakaa when you aren’t nursing your baby, you could affect supply.
Does the haakaa only collect foremilk?
No. Foremilk is thinner and less fatty than hindmilk, so it flows quickly and easily during any pumping session (manual or electric). The same is true when you use this pump—the foremilk will flow easily and quickly, while the hindmilk is slower. Keep your pump attached and eventually, foremilk will give way to hindmilk.
Can you use the haakaa as your main breast pump?
Due to the gentle constant pressure created by the suction, the haakaa breast pump does stimulate milk flow. In this sense, it does more than just collect the milk that leaks. However, if you rely on pumping (e.g. pumping at work), you will need an electric pump, because they allow you to pump both breasts at the same time, thus collecting a larger amount of milk in a shorter amount of time. Check out the best breast pumps here.
Do you have to sterilize the haakaa after every use?
It’s important to wash this pump (and any bottle or pump) after every use. The haakaa product literature strongly encourages sterilization after each use. If you need to sterilize it, boil it for 2-3 minutes or use a steam sterilization method.
Is the haakaa dishwasher safe?
Yes! Although the haakaa manufacturer encourages sterilization, it’s important to note that this pump is dishwasher safe. Simply pop the pump in the top rack with the open hole facing down. Allow the pump to dry thoroughly before storing.
How About You?
Have you ever used the haakaa or another milk saver?