Silicone breast pumps such as the Haakaa are a must have for breast/chest feeding! Read on to discover how to use one!
A WHAAAAAT?? A Haakaa!
I was unaware of the Haakaa, or a silicone breast pump, for my first, Finn. And it was a GAME CHANGER and LIFESAVER for Bee’s breastfeeding journey!
You all know that Finn was a big baby – and with big babies come big appetites. I was blessed with a very good breastmilk supply – but with working, I was never able to keep up with pumping what Finn was eating, so I was always short.
This led to constant panic and obsession about ounces and output. With a good sleep schedule and only having one child, I pumped and stored once a day to make up for lost ounces when I was at work, so I was almost always even.
This, however, was emotionally and physically draining AND NOT WORTH IT! I was worried what would happen when baby #2 came and I didn’t have time to pump because I was also caring for a crazy toddler!
WELL. Insert the HAAKAA. Talk about a GAME CHANGER for breastfeeding mom.
WHAT IS A HAAKAA?
A haakaa is a silicone breast pump that suctions to your breast. It does not “suckle” like regular breast pumps, rather it just suctions to and stays on your boob.
So…what’s the point?
The Haakaa collects your letdown (dripping of milk) on your opposite breast. So you can use this milk for supplementing or storing without having to do ANY work!
How does it work differently than Milk Savers/Lacticups?
The suction with the Haakaa actually pulls out more milk than just with the letdown Milk Savers/Lacticups collect. It’s more efficient.
Think of all the milk you could have saved! Some moms collect anywhere from 1-4oz per feed.
Will a Haakaa cause me to have an oversupply?
No, not necessarily. There is no “suckling motion” with a Haakaa so it doesn’t stimulate your body to produce more through suckling stimulation.
However, the milk removal from the Haakaa will still be replaced by your body (meaning if you use the Haakaa every day, your body will still produce that milk the next day).
In fact, if you are dealing with engorgement, other milk collector products can make the pain from engorgement worse!
How do I apply the Haakaa?
- Fold back Haakaa flange. Hold in place with hand,
- With flange back, apply to centered nipple.
- Apply with some force to lay flush with skin.
- BURP and remove the air from the Haakaa collection chamber.
- FLIP the flange toward your skin, while keeping air out of the collection chamber.
*Notice how the Haaka pulls in your nipple and areola as baby/a breast pump would.
When should I use my Haakaa?
You can use your Haakaa as much and as often as you wish. I used mine at least at the morning feed every morning because I tended to be very engorged and would leak often. If I was home, I generally always used it. No need to use it on the go.
DURING A FEED
Use on the opposite breast while breastfeeding
AFTER A FEED
Too hard to position? Baby is kicking it off? You can’t get anything out?Use after a feed (breasts are less engorged but you can still collect milk!)
IN REPLACEMENT OF A FEED
Can I use a Haakaa instead of my electric/hand pump?
I used my Haakaa in place of ONE pump (I actually did a DOUBLE Haakaa!) I realllllyyyy don’t like pumping, and on my drive home from work, I often did a double Haakaa instead of electric pump.
I never did this for the first pump of the day, however, because I was always too engorged to let down on the Haakaa.
Any more than 1 pump in a row, I would use an electric or hand pump to make sure you’re removing properly
- If you have narrow neck bottles, the Medela Harmony Hand Pump is for you.
- If you have wide neck bottles, try the Lansinoh Hand Pump.
Can I use my Haakaa in conjunction with an electric/hand pump?
YES!!! I did this ALL THE TIME! I actually travelled out of town toward the end of weaning and used only a Haakaa and hand pump.
Will a Haakaa work for me if I don’t leak?
YES! The suction will pull out milk.
What else can I use my Haakaa for?
BLOCKED DUCTS + MASTITIS!!!! Read more here on my mastitis post.
I don’t letdown on my Haakaa and barely collect anything. It doesn’t work for me!
Try massaging until you see milk letdown or hand express a bit into the Haakaa before attaching. A warm compress can help, too.
Isn’t Haakaa milk just foremilk? Why would I want to collect just foremilk?
FOREMILK GETS A BAD REP!!! Babies still need foremilk! Its packed with water to quench thirst, as well as other electrolytes that baby needs.
If you’re worried, you can always combine with fattier milk, but this ISN’T necessary (I never did!)
Can I combine multiple Haakaa sessions?
YES! Just refrigerate first, then add sessions together in a baggie or bottle
- I LOVE the Lansinoh storage baggies for two reasons – they lay very flat for easy storage AND they have a double zip for extra spillage protection.
I ALWAYS SPILL MY HAAKAA!!
You need this cap! Or try putting in a coffee cup to avoid tippage.
I just CAN’T position this thing right!
Try laid back nursing or football hold!
What Haakaa size should I get?
The bigger the Haakaa, the stronger the suction. It’s physics! I recommend the 5oz Haakaa.
Have more questions? Schedule a text or video chat consult with Kate, Lauren or Natalie (NICU RNs) and they can help answer any questions that you have!
Download our free nipple ruler to make sure you’re using the correct flange size.
Other helpful blog posts:
- Common breastfeeding complications explained
- Breast rest
- How to store breastmilk
- Signs of an oversupply
- Transitioning from breastmilk or formula to milk
- All about nipple shields
- 10 common illnesses that babies and kids get
- 5 signs it’s time to start to wean
**This post is educational and not meant to take the place of your provider. Bumblebaby makes a small commission on some of the items listed above.