Breastfeeding and pumping are two additional things that can be a challenge after you give birth. Using a haakaa will definitely make these much easier.
As a brand new mom, you are unaware of how your breastfeeding journey will go until you are thrust into it as soon as you give birth.
However, you can prepare through research and stock up on all the breastfeeding or pumping essentials.
Despite all, there is one thing you must grab no matter what your journey may be. That is a Haakaa.
Here is my complete guide on how to use the Haakaa along with my honest Haakaa review.
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What is a Haakaa Pump?
A haakaa is silicone breast pump that uses suction instead of pumping to get breast milk. All moms love using a haakaa and always talk about how it is a lifesaver, and a must have for first time moms.
What does Haakaa even Mean?
Haakaa is a maori word that actually means to be a strong fighter. It is a traditional war dance for New Zealand.
The family who owns and runs the Haakaa company gave birth to a beautiful daughter who has autism.
They struggled to find non toxic products to use for her and thus their company was born.
The Haakaa is a silicone manual breast pump that is made with nontoxic chemicals.
The Haakaa breast pump is used for collecting as much breast milk as possible to get the most for your baby.
Luckily, the haakaa is available on Amazon so the entire world can benefit from this amazing silicone breast pump!
How Does a Haakaa Work?
How the haakaa works is it uses a strong suction to gently pull the breast milk from your breast. It should not be painful at all.
The suction helps your breast release the letdown easily. This breast pump uses suction to pull the breast milk out instead of pumping the milk out.
How to Use the Haakaa
The haakaa is usually very easy to use, but at first it can be a little confusing.
Here’s your guide on how to use the haakaa breast pump.
Do you Sanitize the Haakaa?
Yes, you should sanitize and sterilize your haakaa before using it.
It is best to sterilize your pump by placing it in boiling water for a few minutes.
Then it is ready for use! Here are the step by step instructions for your haakaa manual breast pump.
- Fold the haakaa back so you can get a better suction
- Then place the pump flange over your nipple
- Make sure the nipple is directly in the middle
- Fold the haakaa onto your breast and make sure it is secure and in place but not painful
- Squeeze the base at the bottle a few times to add suction
- Once the breast milk starts to flow, you’re all set!
After you are finished, or when the haakaa pump is full, simply release the suction. You can either pour into a container or place the stopper inside so you can save your milk.
Do I use Haakaa on Both Sides?
Yes you certainly can!
You can use two haakaas at the same time or one side at a time.
There were a few times I used the haakaa manual breast pump on both sides at the same time.
- While showering to collect the letdown
- During a car ride when I needed to pump
- Doing the dishes
- Whenever I didn’t want to use an electric breast pump
Why Should I Use a Haakaa Breast Pump?
Using a haakaa will save you a lot of time and ultimately breast milk as well!
This silicone manual breast pump is a great way to pump without an electric breast pump and be pain free.
It is also a lot cheaper than buying a breast pump as well!
The haakaa is a hands-free breast pump so you can definitely do other things or simply relax your body while you pump.
It is also completely silent so you can use it during the middle of the night and not wake anyone up!
When you are relaxed, the more milk your body will produce!
The haakaa breast pump takes literally no effort but gives a huge payout as you can relieve engorgement, produce more milk, build a freezer stash, and so much more!
This is a definite breastfeeding essential all moms need to have.
The haakaa is electricity-free meaning it can be used anywhere. There are no cords which is always a pain, especially with multiple little ones.
Also, the fact that it has only two parts (the pump and milk stopper) means it is so easy to use and take places.
It is very light weight and portable.
Instead of soaking up nursing pads, why not try out the haakaa?
Haakaa for Exclusive Pumping
I used the haakaa manual breast pump while I exclusively pumped with my first baby.
I actually got two to use at the same time.
You can use the haakaa for exclusive pumping. It is a pumping must have that I always recommend.
Use it to build your freezer stash even more and prepare in case you have to go back to work, or for a date night away from the baby.
Keep reading to find out my best haakaa hack for increasing my freezer stash like crazy!
Will the Haakaa Replace an Electric Breast Pump?
This all depends on your situation. I personally think that you can always use both. An electric pump and the haakaa use different methods to release your breast milk. They aid each other to help you release the most amount of milk.
I would suggest using both. You can try to get an electric breast pump for free with your insurance and then grab a haakaa silicone pump as well.
Use the haakaa on one side while pumping the other and then switch.
I also had great success using the haakaa a few minutes before and after pumping. I was amazed that I got usually 2 oz more from each breast just doing this haakaa hack!
I also found it highly effective to switch up my pumping method ever so often. This helped to get more milk out each time I did.
I would use the electric pump for a few weeks, and then one day only use the manual pump.
Either way, using the haakaa for exclusive pumping is a great option and will help you have a better milk supply!
Haakaa for Breastfeeding
Using the haakaa for breastfeeding is usually the most common thing. Breastfeeding moms will attach the haakaa to the opposite breast while the baby is eating.
This helps to catch the letdown that naturally happens while we breastfeed.
The haakaa can also be used to relieve engorgement. This is so helpful when your breasts are full and achy but your baby isn’t ready to eat. This will help relieve the pressure and pain but still allow your baby to eat.
Does the Haakaa Take Away Breast Milk from my Baby?
A lot of people have this question! However, the haakaa shouldn’t take away breast milk from your baby.
The more breast milk you take away from your body, the more your body will produce. Using the haakaa should only increase your milk supply and provide you with more milk for your baby!
Unless you struggle with an oversupply, I don’t think you should worry! More breastmilk is always better in my opinion!
Can you Use the Haakaa Without Nursing?
Definitely! I used the haakaa more times not nursing than when I was nursing.
Here are my favorite ways to use the haakaa silicone pump without nursing:
- While pumping
- Doing the dishes
- While in the shower
- During a car drive
- At work
Best Haakaa Tips and Hacks
The haakaa silicone manual breast pump is very easy to use. However, here are a few haakaa hacks so you can get the most out of this silicone pump.
1. Use in the Shower
By simply putting a haakaa on each breast while you take a shower, you save so much breast milk.
When we shower, our milk naturally comes out, especially when the showers are nice and hot.
You will be so amazed by how much breast milk you can save just by using the haakaa as a milk collector.
This haakaa tip helped me build a huge freezer stash!
2. Letdown Tips
You can help speed up the process by using flax seed heating pads while you use the haakaa. The warmth will naturally help encourage letdown.
Massaging your breasts or using a breast massager will also help letdown.
This was a haakaa hack that helped me relax and produce more breastmilk.
You can also get my free new mom survival kit that has pages of prompts and guidance to further help you with your postpartum journey. Get yours here!
3. Reduce Spilled Milk
There is one option for the haakaa that has a suction base which definitely helps to reduce spilled milk.
However, if you have one of the other models, when you are finished using it and can’t get up to transfer to another container, simply put your haakaa in a cup. That helps so you don’t accidentally bump it over.
We all know that we cry when we spill our hard earned breast milk, so be sure to use a cup to prevent that!
4. Clogged Duct
Using a haakaa for a clogged duct is so helpful! I learned this haakaa for a clogged duct hack with my second and loved it. It also helps with engorgement and could potentially help prevent mastitis if you catch it before it becomes a problem.
Here is what to do:
- Fill the haakaa with 3 tablespoons or hot water (as hot as you can handle)
- Add 1 tablespoon of epsom salts
- Attach the haakaa and let it sit for 10 minutes
- The nipple should be in the water
The water and salt should help unclog the duct. If it doesn’t work, you can massage the breast and try again up to four times a day. Massage in between or use a breast massager to further help release the clogged duct.
5. Use as a Milk Collector
I absolutely love to use the haakaa as a milk collector. It is the perfect care-free pump to help you gain a few ounces of your freezer stash.
Again, use whenever you want! I like to in the shower or while doing the dishes, or simply when I need to reduce some engorgement but my baby is not ready to eat.
6. Wiggly Baby
I have also heard of moms who use a hair tie and attach to their nursing bra as well.
These haakaa breast pump tips and hacks were a lifesaver and some of these I didn’t know about until I had my second baby.
Use these haakaa hacks to further use your haakaa breast pump in ways you never thought was possible.
Finding the Perfect Haakaa for You
If you are wondering what haakaa to get, there are 3 different generations of haakaas to fit your needs! All the tips mentioned earlier will apply to all of the different types of haakaas.
This was the first haakaa breast pump to come out. It is the original silicone pump and is 100ml in size.
This generation of haakaa came with a few upgrades. First off, it includes a suction base so you don’t accidentally spill your milk. Most moms love this option.
You can either get a 5oz or 8oz haakaa.
This is the newest haakaa and one of my favorites. This haakaa comes with a removable flange to easily help you switch from storing and pumping.
Hook up your baby’s bottle right to the haakaa and when you are finished, immediately feed your baby! No more losing milk from switching to multiple containers.
This generation comes in either a 5oz or 8oz bottle.
There are even some haakaa bundles to save you even more money and get all the things you need!
New Mum Starter Kit: this is the ultimate kit for brand new moms! It includes:
- One haakaa with suction base
- Flower stopper
- Haakaa leak-proof cap
- 36 disposable nursing pads
Each of these haakaas can be found on Amazon to conveniently grab! Make sure to put one or two on your baby registry to hopefully get them for free!
What Size Haakaa is Best?
This all depends on you! I always personally used the 5oz haakaa and never had a problem with it overflowing.
But if you are worried, you can always get the 8oz. Either size will work just the same, it is only your preference and budget.
How Should the Haakaa Fit?
The haakaa should fit snugly. It is one size fits all type of manual breast pump.
Just make sure when you attach it that it doesn’t touch your nipple. You might need to replace a few times to get it just right.
Which Haakaa Should I Get?
This again comes down to your needs. I personally loved the 1st generation, but would prefer generation 2 or 3 now that they are available.
The generation 3 is perfect if you are exclusively pumping as you can pump directly into the bottle to save space and milk.
If you are breastfeeding, the 2nd generation haakaa should fit your needs amazingly.
I absolutely loved my Haakaa manual pumps both times I used them. I always had two to use and felt like I needed both.
When I exclusively pumped, I still used my haakaas all the time. I would use them before and after using an electric pump.
I truly believe the haakaa helped build my milk freezer stash better than anything else.
I would also wear my haakaa during my showers as a milk catcher as the letdown that occurred.
When I breastfed, I wore one on the opposite side as I breastfed. It helped collect the letdown and helped to build my freezer stash once again.
How to Clean and Care for Your Haakaa
You need to clean your haakaa after every use. You can wash by hand, use a bottle cleaner, or in your dishwasher.
The official haakaa site recommends you wash by hand, even though they can go in the dishwasher. This helps to prevent your silicone pump from becoming cloudy.
It is important to note that some exposure to detergent may make your silicone haakaa look cloudy. That is why your haakaa is cloudy, but silicone does not leak and is still completely safe to use even if it is cloudy.
Some moms have found success sterilizing in boiling water with a splash of vinegar to help reduce the cloudiness!
It is recommended not to use any bleach-based agents or sterilising tablets on the haakaa as well.
It is also advised to not use UV sterilisers as well. These can reduce the lifespan of your haakaa.
Troubleshooting Your Haakaa Breast Pump
Sometimes the haakaa breast pump isn’t working the way you want it to. Here are a few common problems and how to overcome and troubleshoot your haakaa pump.
Why Does my Haakaa Hurt?
Using the haakaa should not hurt. If it does, make sure the sides are not touching the nipple at all.
Try repositioning your haakaa as well. That usually helped me.
The suction may also be too strong for your breast. Try releasing some air to see if that helps.
Why is my Haakaa Not Working?
The suction may be off, or it might just take a little practice. If you are using it directly after giving birth, it might not work as your milk supply has not come in.
Make sure to relax. Just like with any breast pump, if you are not relaxed, it is harder for your body to produce breast milk.
Reposition your haakaa and try squeezing it from back to front, or side to side.
You can also try using flax seed heating pads or a breast massager to further relax your breast and help encourage letdown.
Why is my Haakaa Losing Suction?
Sometimes your haakaa might feel like it is losing suction.
As a new mom, your breasts are going to constantly change shapes and sizes and might need a stronger suction at times.
You can try to squeeze more times to get a stronger suction to see if that is helping.
If you still are having trouble, your haakaa might simply be worn out. This all depends on how often you have used your haakaa.
If you sterilize it constantly, this also reduces the lifespan as well. Some moms can use their haakaa pumps for years while others need to be replaced after a few months.
Here are a few additional frequently asked questions about the haakaa manual breast pump.
Will the haakaa increase milk supply?
The more you take away milk from your breast, the more your produce will produce. So, the haakaa can increase milk supply!
Will the haakaa cause oversupply?
Usually, the haakaa shouldn’t cause oversupply? If you already produce a lot, it might not be the product for you. However, most moms find it to help them build a freezer stash and not be an issue at all!
How much should the haakaa collect?
This will all depend on your situation. Some moms do really well with the haakaa and get 2-4oz each time they use it.
I usually got 2-3oz each time I used the haakaa. That is amazing for putting in no effort!
Should you bring haakaa to hospital?
From my experience, I was not able to get any milk out at the hospital with the haakaa. Usually your milk supply will come in 3-5 days after you give birth. Most moms are already home from the hospital during that time period.
It doesn’t hurt to try if you want! The haakaa is super small and very convenient to take in your hospital bag!
However you feed your baby, the haakaa will definitely help you out.
Hopefully this ultimate guide to the haakaa helped answer all your questions and concerns about the haakaa manual breast pump.
This silicone breast pump is a must have whether you are pumping or breastfeeding!
If you have any further questions, share them below!