Here are 12 tips for how to use the Haakaa breast pump, plus other helpful breastfeeding and pumping tips for new moms!
If you’re a first time mom and breastfeeding, you might be overwhelmed by the hundreds of products out there that claim to make things easier.
Do I need a manual breast pump? An electric breast pump?
In this post, we’re sharing everything you need to know about the Haakaa silicone breast pump which combines the best of both worlds.
It has many of the benefits of an electric pump, and the simplicity of a manual pump while being much easier to use, clean, and transport.
It’s the perfect product for any breastfeeding mom, whether you’re on your first baby or second baby.
Keep scrolling to learn more about the uniqueness of the Haakaa breast pump, how to use the Haakaa breast pump, and other smart breastfeeding and pumping tips for nursing moms!
What is the Haakaa breast pump?
Before we list the best tips for how to use the Haakaa breast pump, here’s some information on what makes the Haakaa pump unique and how it works.
The Haakaa breast pump is different from a traditional pump in several ways.
Benefits of the Haakaa Breast Pump
First, it’s one piece and entirely made from food-grade silicone. This makes it much softer and gentler on the breast.
This silicone pump uses gentle suction created by squeezing the pump once and attaching it to the breast (creating a vacuum), rather than the repeated motions of an electric or manual pump.
This means there’s no complicated setup and no chaffing!
Below are some additional benefits of the Haakaa pump and its one major drawback.
- Doesn’t require electricity
- Affordable ($20-$30 price tag)
- Compact and easily fits in a diaper bag
- Discreet (no sound)
- Easy to clean
- One size fits all
Downsides of the Haakaa pump:
- It isn’t as powerful as an electric pump. While it does remove more milk from the breast than traditional milk collectors, it’s not a true breast pump.
Haakaa Breast Pump Options
There are a few different Haakaa breast pumps to choose from including the Ladybug, Gen 1, Gen 2, and Gen 3.
Here’s a handy pump comparison chart to help you decide which is best for your needs.
- The Ladybug stands out for being the most compact and it has the lightest suction. It also weighs the least and collects the smallest amount. This makes it ideal for outdoor activities like a football game or family BBQ.
- The Haakaa Gen 1 is a slight step up from the Ladybug as far as suction strength, weight, and collection amount. And it’s the least expensive of the Gen series.
- The Haakaa Gen 2 is yet another step up with more suction and collection capacity. It’s also made with a handy suction cup on the bottom of the pump so you can secure it to a hard surface during a feed.
- And finally, the Haakaa Gen 3 has the most suction, the greatest storage capacity, and also weighs the most. It has a flat, stable base, but it’s not one piece.
Each stopper has a round, food-grade silicone base with a “stem and flower” handle. And, you can choose from a variety of colors.
They sit tightly in the pump flange to keep milk from spilling and seal in important nutrients.
Tips for How to Use a Haakaa Breast Pump
Below are tips for how to use the Haakaa breast pump effectively, and how it can improve your breastfeeding journey.
Haakaa Pump Best Practices
1. The Best Position for Using the Haakaa
There are several different breastfeeding positions new moms can try. But, the football hold is the best position for using the Haakaa.
In this position, the baby’s legs are tucked under the arm so they can’t kick the Haakaa off the breast while nursing.
This shouldn’t be a problem for newborns, but older, more wiggly babies may cause issues!
2. How to Get a Good Seal
It will also pull a little more milk from the breast.
To evert the flange, fold back the neck of the pump as this video demonstrates. (Instructions start around the 1:50 mark.)
You should also make sure the pump is completely dry. Any moisture will prevent a proper seal. And be sure to squeeze at the bulb or bottom part of the pump and not the sides or the top.
3. Making Sure It Doesn’t Spill
If you’re using the Haakaa 2, take advantage of the suction base and cap. Or, you can purchase the flower stopper listed above.
When you’re planning to use the Haakaa, make sure that you nurse in a location that’s next to a small table or flat surface so you can place the pump somewhere safe until you’re able to transfer the milk.
4. Making Sure It Stays On
If you’re not comfortable using the football hold, or your baby doesn’t like it, you can also use a pumping bra to ensure the Haakaa stays on the breast.
This will keep the pump secure even with a squirmy baby.
5. Collecting Milk When Baby Isn’t Present
If you’re having trouble collecting milk when your baby isn’t on the breast, there are a few tricks you can try:
- Look at a picture of your baby. This may trigger an emotional response and encourage your body to let down your milk.
- You can also gently massage the breast to encourage letdown.
- Or, put the Haakaa on the breast and wait up to 15 minutes. Sitting calmly may ease anxiety and allow your milk to flow.
6. Cleaning the Haakaa
Make sure you sterilize the pump before the first use by boiling it in water for 2-3 minutes.
After the pump is sterilized you can hand wash the pump after feeds. It’s also dishwasher safe so you can use that option if you’re not short on time.
However, you should never use harsh chemicals like bleach because they can break down the silicone.
If your Haakaa gets cloudy, you can use a vinegar and water solution to remove the film. Simply mix 1 part vinegar with 1 part water.
7. How to Avoid Oversupply
While some moms struggle with milk supply, others have the problem of too much milk. To avoid oversupply issues, wait to use the Haakaa or any pump until your milk supply is regulated. This takes 3-4 weeks after you start breastfeeding.
8. Transferring the Milk
Once you’re done nursing your baby, be sure to transfer the milk in the Haakaa as soon as possible. You don’t want to risk the milk sitting out for too long or spilling.
The easiest way to pour the milk into a breast milk storage bag is to pour using the longest part of the pump as the spout. This way, you’re less likely to spill any of that precious breast milk!
You can also put the pump directly in the fridge to save for later if you have the Gen 3 model with the nipple attachment.
Genius Haakaa Breast Pump Uses
And here are some smart ways a nursing mom can use the Haakaa to make breastfeeding easier.
1. Build a Freezer Stash
Use the Haakaa to build a milk stash! The Haakaa breast pump can collect foremilk from the opposite breast when nursing. (Milk that would otherwise be wasted into a nursing pad or soaked into your shirt.)
You can leave the Haakaa on for just enough time to collect your letdown or keep it on the breast longer to try to collect even more.
Moms report collecting an extra 2-3 oz on average with each nursing session.
This can add up to a large store of milk in no time!
2. Alleviate a Clogged Duct
You can also use the Haakaa to alleviate a clogged duct using a mixture of Epsom salt and water.
Epsom salt is naturally anti-inflammatory, and the gentle suction from the pump can help get your milk flowing again.
Simply fill the Haakaa with some water and salt and attach it to the breast making sure that the nipple is submerged in the water. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
3. Increase Breast Milk Supply
The Haakaa can also increase milk production.
Breast milk works on supply and demand, so the more milk removed from the breast, the more the body will produce.
Removing milk from both breasts at the same time is especially beneficial.
To increase milk supply, don’t just use the pump to collect your letdown. Leave it on the breast throughout your feed, and switch it to the opposite breast when you switch your baby.
You’ll not only collect more of your letdown, but you’ll also ensure each breast is fully emptied after the baby nurses.
4. Use it for Vacations and Outings
The Haakaa is the perfect pumping tool for car rides and long-distance trips with limited access to electricity.
It makes collecting milk while driving and on the go discreet and easy. And it’s so much easier to pack and keep clean.
RELATED: How to Travel with Frozen Breast Milk (Flying, Driving, or Moving)
More Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms
Now that we’ve covered tips for how to use the Haakaa breast pump, here are additional breastfeeding tips for new moms.
If you can, take advantage of your hospital or birthing center’s lactation consultant. They can teach you how to get a good latch so you don’t develop “lipstick nipple“, the best nursing position for you and your baby, and other tips to set you up for success.
There are also several reliable resources for new moms online and in book forms like these first time mom books, these 40 breastfeeding tips, and these 20 important things to know about breastfeeding.
You can also arm yourself with the breastfeeding essentials below:
- Lansinoh lanolin cream or one of these 12 best nipple creams for breastfeeding.
- If you’re caught without your Haakaa, you may need to use a breast pad in a pinch. Here are some great disposable and reusable options.
- If you’re a stay-at-home mom and exclusively breastfeeding, you probably won’t need an electric pump in addition to your Haakaa. However, moms who work in an office and don’t have access to their babies throughout the day should use an electric pump like the speCtra or the hands-free Elvie pump.
- A nursing pin to keep track of which side you nursed on last.
- Nursing tanks, tops, and underwire-free nursing bras for easy access.
- Breastmilk storage bags for your growing stash.
- A good nursing pillow so mom and baby are comfortable.
- Nipple shields for sore or cracked nipples.
- A tumbler or 40 ounce mug to ensure you get enough fluids.
- A cold/hot compress to help with engorgement.
- Nursing covers that double as a car seat cover, or the kind that goes around your neck.
- A dedicated comfy chair or glider.
- A good organizing caddy.
- And, a side table to sit your expressed milk and water mug on.
Haakaa Breast Pump Alternatives
There are lots of Haakaa alternatives out there with similar reviews and benefits that may be even more affordable. The Bumblebee Silicone Breast Pump is a great option to try.
This depends on what you’re using it for. If you’re only using the Haakaa to collect letdown on the opposite breast while you nurse, you’ll only need to leave it on for 3-5 minutes. However, if you’re trying to collect hindmilk, you can leave it on for as long as you’d like.
You can use the Haakaa while you nurse to collect milk on the opposite breast. Or, you can use it after you nurse to ensure all the milk is removed from the breast.
The Haakaa breast pump can increase milk supply depending on how you use it. If you only leave the pump on long enough to collect letdown, it probably won’t change your milk supply. But, if you let the pump suction milk for longer periods and/or after your baby finishes nursing, it can increase your supply.
Use your finger to break the suction around the flange and then pull the pump from the breast.
If your Haakaa isn’t collecting much, make sure there is no moisture on the pump so you get a proper seal. And try everting the pump before you attach it as described earlier in the post.
If you’re not collecting much milk when your baby isn’t present, try looking at a picture of your baby or gently massaging the breast to encourage letdown.
If this post was helpful, be sure to check out these:
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- 15 Clever ideas for what to do with leftover breast milk
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Did we answer all your questions about how to use the Haakaa breast pump? Let us know if we missed anything in the comments!