Have you ever heard of the Haakaa? Are you looking for Haakaa tips or Haaka hacks? This groundbreaking invention for breastfeeding is definitely one of my favorites! The Haakaa is a must-have for all moms, both seasoned breastfeeding pros and those who are new to the game.
It takes the concept of “pumping” breast milk to a whole new level while remaining completely easy to use and hands free. It isn’t designed to replace an actual breast pump, but it IS designed to make your life easier and collect the let down milk while you breastfeed your little one.
The Haakaa was actually invented by a family in New Zealand and the word haka has another meaning in their culture. Haka is actually an ancient war dance giving the the strength to take on any challenge and represent strength.
I would say it’s the perfect name for something that a mother will be using, as there is nothing quite as challenging or requiring more strength than motherhood!
This post may contain affiliate links which I would receive a small commission should you make a purchase.
What is a Haakaa anyway?
The Haakaa is actually a very simple breast pump that requires zero bells and whistles and works amazingly. It is designed to easily and efficiently catch the overflow milk on the opposite breast while you are breastfeeding your baby.
If you are looking for a great way to build up your stash, the Haakaa has you covered. Since you don’t have to hassle with setting up the Haakaa, searching for an outlet, or connecting all the pieces- the Haakaa can actually make your pumping journey quick, easy, and convenient.
Even if you didn’t plan to pump breast milk at all you may want to invest in a Haakaa, especially after reading the next few Haakaa pump tips!
Related Post: 35 Genius Breastfeeding Hacks
How to use the Haakaa
The Haakaa is designed with simplicity in mind, but you can still use these Haakaa tips to make sure you are getting the best experience.
Before you use the Haakaa, you should take some time to wash and sanitize it. Haakaa actually recommends boiling it for 2-3 minutes- which is perfectly safe.
Next, you will want to dry the pump completely.
Now your Haakaa is ready to use! You simply get your baby situated nursing, place the flange of the Haakaa over your other breast and position your nipple in the center of the tunnel. Give a light squeeze- this will begin the suction.
Your little one can begin nursing- and this will stimulate a let down effect. Normally all this milk would get wasted, right?
Not with the Haakaa! Using these Haakaa hacks, you can collect that let-down milk easily, like magic!
Your Haakaa pump will collect the milk without you having to do a thing. Simply suction it to your breast, nurse your baby, and watch your breast milk stash begin to effortlessly build.
Related post: How to increase Breastmilk Supply
Sometimes your Haakaa may begin to lose suction, if this happens, simply readjust your Haakaa, and give another light squeeze.
When you are finished using your Haakaa, you just give it a little squeeze and it will release from your breast. You can now transfer the collected milk to another container, or if you were lucky enough to grab a Haakaa with a companion bottle nipple pop the nipple on and feed your baby right away!
When you’re done, wash it with warm and soapy water and dry thoroughly before storing it.
Benefits of using a Haakaa
There are so many benefits of using a Haakaa, and these Haakaa pump tips will only make those more apparent.
#1 The Haakaa doesn’t require electricity
Since it doesn’t require electricity of any kind, you can easily use your Haakaa anywhere without having to find or be in near proximity to an outlet. If you are a mom, you are busy, and if you are a breastfeeding mom- you may be even busier. You don’t have time to search for an outlet or deal with plugging in and preparing a pump. With the Haakaa, you don’t have to.
Related Post: How to make breastfeeding work as a busy mom
#2 The Haakaa is all one piece
Gone are the days of searching for all the cords, pieces, and tubes needed to get your breast pump working. The Haakaa doesn’t require any cords, tubing, or any extra pieces at all to begin using! This makes the Haakaa quick and easy to use, and also means you will be more likely to use it- therefore, increasing your breast milk stash almost effortlessly.
Related Post: 9 Tips to make breast pumping easy
#3 Portable and Lightweight
The Haakaa is tiny and fits inside your hand, you can easily fit it into your purse or diaper bag. It isn’t huge and bulky like most electric breast pumps are, and all you need is the Haakaa itself so you are not having to worry about collecting any cords or tubing.
#4 Sweet Silence
Is there anything more annoying than trying to pump in your workplace, or at a family function with that noisy electric breast pump? You just want to pump in peace, but that noisy pump makes what you are doing very obvious to everyone around you. And forget trying to pump while on a phone call or zoom meeting- an electric breast pump is much too noisy. With the Haakaa you can easily pump anywhere without a sound.
#5 Easy to Clean
You can easily clean your Haakaa without much effort at all. Simply wash in warm soapy water after using it, and sterilize at least once a week. You can easily sterilize your Haakaa by boiling it in water for 2-3 minutes. Your Haakkaa is also dishwasher safe, so you can use that route as well.
#5 It’s Safe
It is also made of materials that are BPA, PVC, and Phthalate-free. This makes it the perfect choice for any natural-minded moms who adhere to more organic lifestyles.
When should you start using a Haakaa?
You can begin using the Haakaa right away! In fact, it is great to begin using early as that is when your supply is the highest. If you are trying to relieve engorgement, building a freezer stash, or soaking nursing pads regularly, I would recommend beginning to use the Haakaa!
Different Types of Haakaas
Gen 1 Haakaa
This is the original- the very first Haakaa invented and on the market. It is a simple silicone pump and holds 100 ml of breast milk. This one doesn’t come with any extra pieces, and is perfect if you just want simplicity.
Gen 2 Haakaa
The Gen 2 Haakaa is still the same great pump we have all came to love but it comes with a few upgrades. First off, it provides a nice suction base (to help prevent those spills!). Next, it features either a cute flower stopper or a lid so that you can place it down without worrying about losing all your milk to a spill. You can also choose from two different sizes, 100 ml or 150 ml.
Gen 3 Haakaa
The 3rd generation Haakaa offers the same simplicity as the first two designs but it comes with an even more exciting upgrade. It features a removable flange so that you can easily transition from pumping to storing, to even feeding your little one- all within the same device.
Haakaa Tips & Hacks
#1 Reduce Spills with a Cup
If you purchased a first gen Haakaa- you may be disappointed to find out it is quite top heavy. This can lead to some frustrating spills before you have a chance to make it to a storage container. You can prevent this by grabbing one of the newer Haakaas that come with a lid. But if you have the original version and are not looking to upgrade you can use the coffee mug hack to prevent spills.
Simply keep a mug or cup nearby while you are feeding so that you can place your Haakaa inside to provide a little stability. This can give you time to finish nursing your newborn, or relax a minute before getting up to store the milk.
#2 Clear a clogged duct using Haakaa
All you need to do for this awesome hack is fill your Haakaa with warm water and Epsom salt, next suction it to your breast that has the clogged duct, and allow the suction and heat to draw out the clog in your breast.
#3 Relieve engorgement
If you’re in pain or simply have a lot of milk after your baby sleeps through the night, use the Haakaa. This will help collect some milk but not a full pumping session. This way your body won’t continue to make an oversupply, but you are still getting that relief.
#4 Stimulate the let down before your baby starts feeding
You can use the Haakaa to get the let down of your milk to happen faster, meaning your baby will get their milk faster. This is especially handy for a baby who seems uninterested in the work it takes to bring down the milk. Simply place the Haakaa on until you feel your milk let down, and then put the baby at your breast. You can continue to use the Haakaa on the other breast if you want to collect some milk as well.
#5 Use a hands free bra to keep it in place
This is a great Haakaa pump hack for anyone whose baby is starting to get to that age where they are flipping around a lot while nursing. Use a nursing bra to hold the Haakaa in place. This will prevent your little one from kicking the Haakaa off and reduce the risk of you losing all that reserved breast milk.
#6 Loop a hair tie to make your Haakaa hands free
To get this hack to work simply loop a hair tie around your Haakkaa and then attach part of the hair tie. to your nursing bra clasp. This makes your Haakaa truly hands-free.
#7 Use a Haakaa alternative
This other silicone manual pump actually serves the exact same function as the Haakaa does, but it is impossible to spill! The Elvie Curve can stay in your bra while your baby is kicking and moving during nursing and also can rest on it’s back so it won’t fall over when you’re finished..
#8 Soothe sore cracked and sore nipples
Simply fill your Haakaa with a warm saline water mix and attach it so your nipple soaks in the water.
Can you use the Haakaa without nursing?
Absolutely! While the Haakaa doesn’t hold as much as a regular pump, you can use it as a manual pump. It’s perfect for on-the-go or quick relief.
Does the Haakaa increase milk supply?
While there is no scientific evidence that the Haakaa actually increasing your breastmilk supply, the anecdotal evidence is promising.
Your breasts will not make as much milk if they are constantly near full. You body is smart and it only makes as much milk as the baby needs. So, the more often your breast is emptied, the more often you will produce milk.
Collecting milk with your Haakaa during breastfeeding empties the breast further and encourages more milk production.
Does the Haakaa only collect foremilk?
Your Haakaa collects the milk that is ready to leave your breast. So if you put your Haakaa on a full breast it will generally collect foremilk first- just like any pump would. However, if you place your Haakaa on a breast that you have recently nursed from- you can collect hindmilk.
Is the Haakaa taking milk from the baby?
A lot of moms, especially those newer to breastfeeding may be concerned about their milk supply and if the Haakaa is actually taking milk from their baby. The Haakaa is typically used to catch letdown that would otherwise just be wasted in a nursing pad. You can’t have letdown in only one breast, so the milk is going to come out regardless.
Breastmilk also operates on supply and demand, so the more milk you remove, the more you will produce.
Related post: 19 tips to try when your baby refuses to breastfeed
What to do if your Haakaa is not working or losing suction
If your Haakaa loses suction or doesn’t appear to be working, it could be as simple as repositioning, squeezing, and attaching it again. Getting the right position and suction with the Haakaa is really important.
What to do if your Haakaa won’t stay on
If your Haakaa won’t stay on there are a few tricks you can try:
- Make sure the flange is dry- if it is wet it will be difficult to create the suction needed
- Reposition your Haakaa
- Try squeezing your Haakaa a different way, such as front and back or top and bottom, rather than on the sides
Are you ready for your Haakaa now? If you are a breastfeeding mom, I absolutely recommend this tool. It has the ability to make your life easier- and as moms, we can always use the help! Not only is the Haakaa great for collecting milk but with some of the Haakaa hacks mentioned in this post you can also clear up some common breastfeeding issues. I hope that you can take these Haaka pump tips and get started on your pumping journey today!
Have you used the Haakaa? Did you find these tips useful? Let me know in the comments below!