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?
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.
Essentially, a Haakaa pump is a silicone milk collection pump. It’s a hybrid between a milk collector that sit in your bra and a pump. Instead of just sitting in your bra waiting for milk to leak out, the Haakaa applies gentle yet consistent suction to your nipple and surrounding breast tissue.
Typically, the best time to use these is when you’re nursing your baby with the opposite breast. Your remaining breast is free and more likely to letdown.
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
Is a Haakaa Pump Worth It?
Once you learn how to use a Haakaa pump properly, my personal experiece says yes, they are worth it.
They aren’t expensive, no matter the brand you buy, and they work. I used mine while nursing my baby and collected more milk for my freezer than ever before with my previous kids.
Best of all, since I used it while I was nursing, I built a stash of freezer milk without needing to add extra pumping sessions.
How to Use a 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. However, despite it’s simple designs, women still struggle to use it properly at first.
Let’s take a look at how to use a Haakaa step by step.
Step 1: Preparation
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.
Step 2: Get Your Baby Situated and Nursing
If you want to nurse and use the Haakaa at the same time, it’s easiest to get your baby situated first. I recommend using whatever nursing pillow you have to help keep your baby propped up while you put the Haakaa in place.
Step 3: Fold & Position the Haakaa
Next, fold back the silicone flange and position the Haakaa over your nipple. It should be placed with your nipple in the center to the best of your ability.
Step 4: Create Suction
Here is when the magic happens.
Once the little pump is in place, squeeze the base of the pump and release once it’s on your breast. This creates the suction, drawing your nipple into the pump.
Fold the flanges back into their normal position, which creates a further suction and helps keep the Haaka in its proper place.
Step 5: Relax!
As your little one nurses on your other breast, you will stimulate a letdown on the other breast with the suction. A letdown often happens even without a collector there, sending all that milk into your nursing pad.
With the suction, you’ll watch breast milk go into the Haaka. At times, you may have to remove and reattach if you lose suction or collect enough milk the suction goes away.
Sometimes your Haakaa may begin to lose suction, if this happens, simply readjust your Haakaa, and give another light squeeze.
Step 6: Finish Up!
When the milk stops flowing, squeeze the base of the pump to release the suction. Another option is to slip a finger between your breast and the flange, breaking the suction.
Don’t just yank it off!
After, transfer the milk to whatever milk storage containers you prefer. Watch your breast milk stash begin to effortlessly build.
When you’re done, wash it with warm and soapy water and dry thoroughly before storing it.
Related post: How to increase Breastmilk Supply
How Long Do You Leave the Haakaa on?
It’s safe to leave the Haakaa on as long as your breast milk is still flowing. Generally, this is no longer than 15 to 20 minutes. This gives enough time for your letdown and for your baby to finish nursing on your opposite breast.
The 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.
#6 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!
The 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 Instead of Pumping?
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.
Some women use Haakaas in the shower because the warm water helps to stimulate a letdown, especially in the early days of breastfeeding.
However, if you plan to pump regularly and need to collect a lot of milk, such as if you work outside the home, a Haakaa is not the ideal choice. You’ll get the most success with an electric pump; I love my Spectra!
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!