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What is a Haakaa: A Review

Haakaa Review
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I know you’re wondering, What is a Haakaa?

We scour the internet hoping to find the latest and greatest gadgets and looking for the answers of what every new mom needs when we’re expecting.

This is how I found the Haakaa and other silicone breast pumps! I thought this is not a breast pump, there is no way I can collect an adequate amount from this. But why are people raving about the a silicone breast pump? Why are people raving about silicone manual breast pumps? How do you pump with a silicone pump?

Do you have those same questions?

Since it was budget friendly, I thought why not order it? 

Haakaa Review

My milk had come in the day of discharge, and once home I got right to it. It amazed me how much milk I was able to collect so soon and just like that I could build up a milk stash.  Creating a milk stash was necessary for returning to work or just getting out of the house for a little self-care.  There needed to be extra so my husband could feed our son while I was out.

It quickly became one of my all-time favorite breastfeeding essentials.  Whenever we would leave the house for short or long adventures, I would throw it into the diaper bag.  When home I always kept it in my Breastfeeding Station.

I’ll go into details below on why the this manual breast pump is a must have for your breastfeeding journey and the benefits of it.

Here’s my review and I will also give you a comparison of other silicone breast pumps in this post.

What is a Haakaa?

A Haakaa is a one piece silicone manual breast pump used to collect breastmilk.  It’s great because it is so simple to use, and if you’re wondering how dads can support breastfeeding, this is a great way.  It’s so easy to use dad can get it attached to the opposite breast if you need a little help in the beginning.  Your partner can also fill storage milk bags for you with the milk you’ve collected from the it and label them.

What is the Haakaa used for?

The Haakaa is used to express breastmilk.  This could be done from the opposite side while your baby nurses or to express milk even if your baby isn’t actually breastfeeding. Because of the gentle suction, you can generally catch more milk than what just comes from let-down.

Who can use a Haakaa?

The brief answer is anyone who needs to express breastmilk should give the Haakaa a try.

How To Use A Haakaa

4 steps on how to use the Haakaa breast pump
4 steps for Haakaa placement

Step 1– Clean and Sterilize the Haakaa and  allow it to cool and dry.  Wash your hands prior to use.  You can sterilize your Haakaa by boiling it in water for 3 minutes.

Step 2– Fold the flange downward.

Step 3– Try to place your nipple directly in the center of the opening of the silicone breast pump.  Squeeze the bulb portion of your pump with the tip of your thumb together with the tips of your other four fingers.

Step 4– Now fold the flange back up to create a seal around your breast and release bulb to create suction for milk collection. Watch for milk leakage to determine if you need to readjust.

How Often Should You Sterilize A Haakaa

Sterilize your Haakaa at least once a day. Be sure to clean your Haakaa after each use.

How do you hold a baby with a Haakaa in place?

In my opinion, clutch or football position is the best way to hold your baby while using the Haakaa because the position keeps their little feet out of the way from knocking it off the breast.

Cradle position works well too.  

When To Use Haakaa?

While home I used it with every breastfeeding session, especially morning sessions when my breasts were most full.  Once the engorgement settled and the leaking slowed, I used it less and less.  For work, I took my electric breast pump.

You can start using the Haakaa when you are most comfortable.  In the beginning, it’s an adjustment for you and baby to learn to breastfeed, including the best and most comfortable positions.  The best time to use the Haakaa is during a session on the opposite side of the breast your baby is feeding from.  No milk will be wasted during let-down and this can start the buildup of a freezer stash.

Using Haakaa To Build A Stash

Frozen breast milk collected with a Haakaa.
The rack on the right was the start of my freezer stash.

Haakaa Benefits

  • No cords
  • No pump parts to put together prior to use
  • Lightweight
  • BPA-Free
  • Easy to travel with
  • Dishwasher safe and easy to clean
  • One size fits all
  • Very comfortable when in use
  • Super easy to transfer milk from Haakaa to storage bags
  • It’s silent 
  • Hands-Free
  • Budget friendly

Cons

I did not find many negatives to using the Haakaa, but here is what stood out to me.

  • The measurements are not accurate
  • It can lose suction and fall off or your baby can kick it off
  • It’s dishwasher safe but the dishwasher can cause a cloudy appearance on your Haakaa.

How To Express Using Haakaa

To hand express using the Haakaa

  • Massage your breast to help your milk come down.
  • Create a c-shape around your breast.
  • Gently press in a backward motion towards your chest.
  • Squeeze your breast and let the milk drip into your Haakaa.

Tip: Before leaving the hospital ask your nurse or lactation consultant how to hand express in the event you need to do so once home.

Our son was 9 months old when he took his first flight.  I had no idea how he would respond to being on a plane, so I decided I would pack the Haakaa in the diaper bag and bring a couple of storage bags and 1 bottle just in case.

The flight didn’t go very well!  I could not get him to nurse while on the plane.  He eventually fell asleep for the duration of our flight.  

When it was time to depart our destination, I had hand expressed milk to take on the flight if he decided again he wouldn’t nurse.  I was so glad I had thrown the Haakaa in the bag along with a couple of storage bags and a bottle because it saved me.  We had a much smoother flight home.

How To Transfer Milk From A Haakaa

Here are 2 ways you can transfer milk from a Haakaa. You can directly pour milk into a storage bag or if you are worried about spillage, place into a cup and then pour into a storage bag.

Haakaa Generation 3 Silicone Breast Pump

Generation 3 is the reinvention of the Haakaa silicone breast pump.  The top portion is made with the same silicone as the original model with a detachable silicone bottle.  The Haakaa Generation 3 allows you to express/catch milk directly into a bottle.

  • Sizes

160ml/6oz or 250ml/9oz

  • Can be used with all Haakaa bottle attachments
  • Removable flange to create a full bottle or to cover with a lid
  • Weight

Generation 3 is heavier at 15 ounces since the base is a bottle.  The other Haakaa silicone breast pumps range in weight from 3 to 6 ounces.

Related: 7 Breastfeeding Tips For First-Time Mothers

Haakaa Comparison

Nature BondBumbleBeeLansinoh
Stopper
Lid
Pouch To Store
BPA-Free
Hands-Free
At Least 4 ounces
Variations in suction strength
Strap
Suction cup base
Nature Bond vs BumbleBee vs Lansinoh
Nature Bond Silicone Breast pump with strap and stopper.
Nature Bond Silicone Breast Pump
BumbleBee Silicone Breast Pump in green.
BumbleBee Silicone Breast Pump
Lansinoh Silicone Breast pump.
Lansinoh Silicone Breast Pump

Head over to my Liketoknow.it page to find nursing bras and hands free nursing bra options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Haakaa only collect foremilk?

Foremilk and hindmilk are not two different types of milk, so you can collect both.

The Haakaa provides constant gentle suction to allow the collection of both foremilk and hindmilk.  

Foremilk- The milk at the start of a feeding.

Hindmilk- The milk at the end of a feeding that contains more fat.

How long do I leave the Haakaa on?

You don’t need to leave the Haakaa on for an extended period, 5 to 10 minutes is good.  I personally just left mine on as long as my baby nursed.  Sometimes he was satisfied and done after 10 minutes, and other times it was much longer.  If he nursed for longer than 20 minutes, I would take it off and store.

Can Haakaa replace an electric pump?

No.  The Haakaa shouldn’t replace an electric breast pump because it’s not as effective as an electric pump.  Also, an electric pump imitates a nursing baby’s sucking pattern.  The Haakaa or any other form does not do this.   It simply applies gentle suction to collect or hand express into it.

For mamas who plan to exclusively pump, an electric pump is the better option.

I dealt with engorgement, which causes your breast to be firm and pretty uncomfortable.  Nursing often and draining your breast regularly helps prevent engorgement.  What brought relief was my electric breast pump.  For me personally, the Haakaa manual breast pump would only give me slight relief.  If you need to remove larger quantities of milk an electric breast pump would be more beneficial.

Tip:  Keep supply and demand in mind!  The more you take, the more you make!

Should I bring my Haakaa pump to the hospital?

There is no exact time frame as to when you should or should not start using your Haakaa.  It’s unnecessary to bring your Haakaa to the hospital but if you want to attempt to collect colostrum with your Haakaa, you can certainly bring it.  It’s best to start using the Haakaa once your milk has come in to truly make the most of it.

Does Haakaa take milk from your baby?

No, you are collecting milk that would have been lost or wasted from your let-down reflex if you just would have let it drip with nothing collecting it while you breastfeed.  Always keep track of your baby’s diaper count and weight.  If you have any concerns, speak with your baby’s pediatrician and/or a lactation consultant.

How do you make a freezer stash using a Haakaa?

Haakaa is a great way to build up a freezer stash.  Whenever your baby is on the breast apply it to the other breast to collect milk.  Once done store this milk in storage bags and freeze.

Note: This post is not intended for medical advice. Please always consult with your doctor!

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