Breastfeeding may be natural, but it isn’t always easy. You’ve gotta work for that liquid gold which is why leaky breasts are so frustrating – all that breast milk soaking through your nursing pads is going to waste!
It is just the worst when you’re nursing your baby and your letdown means you’re leaking into your nursing pads (or through your shirt) while your baby feeds.
Imagine what you could do with that wasted milk if you caught it instead…
…you could start a freezer stash, plan for a night out (thanks, grandma!) or maybe even let your hubby do the night feed for once (bliss!)
Girl, you need a Haakaa.
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What is a Haakaa and Why Exactly Do You Need One?
A Haakaa is a simple silicone breast pump that works via suction. It’s shaped like a breast pump flange with a bottle on the bottom and it’s made of flexible silicone so you can get the suction effect going.
The Haakaa can:
- work as a manual pump when you’re out and about without access to electricity
- act as a milk catcher while you’re breastfeeding your baby at home (but the suction helps you get EVEN MORE milk than you’d get from a normal milk catcher)
- relieve engorgement by suctioning some of your excess milk without stimulating you to produce more.
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What Type of Haakaa Should I Get?
There are three different generations of the Haakaa right now:
The first generation Haakaa started it all – the basic, one piece model with no suction base.
The second generation Haakaa improved on the first generation by adding a suction base. No more spills!
The latest Haakaa can be configured in many different ways to suit your needs. It comes with a base and has several different interchangeable top options:
- a flange – similar to the original, except that the flange detaches.
- baby bottle – feed your baby directly from your Haakaa after pumping with the baby bottle attachment. It comes in two variations – slow and fast nipples – and also comes with a cover so you can put it in the fridge until later.
- sippy cup spout – yes, there’s even an attachment for older babies to use the Haakaa like a sippy cup.
- spoon – if you aren’t comfortable introducing your breastfed baby to a bottle nipple, the spoon attachment is for you!
The Benefits of Using a Haakaa
My Haakaa is one of my absolute favorite baby buys this time around. Here’s why:
- Catch Milk That Would’ve Gone to Waste – you spend a lot of time and effort breastfeeding, so don’t let it go to waste!
- Inexpensive – most breast pumps are quite pricey. The Haakaa isn’t really meant for serious pumping efforts, but if you aren’t planning to pump frequently, it’s the perfect option.
- You Can Use It To Relieve Nipple Pain and Clogged Milk Ducts – nipple pain and clogged milk ducts aren’t fun. You can use the Haakaa to help get through it.
- You Can Build a Freezer Stash – get the start on your freezer stash for returning to work, or having a night out by keeping all the extra milk you’re expressing.
- Extra Milk Helps A Baby Who’s Gaining Slowly – I wish I’d had a Haakaa with my first baby. He had a tongue tie and gained weight very slowly in the beginning. So slowly that I was told to pump after every feed and give him that milk as well. If I’d had a Haakaa it would’ve been much easier to give him the milk that leaked during the feed.
How to Use the Haakaa
The Haakaa is really easy to use. To get good suction:
- Invert the flange,
- Squeeze the air out of the base as much as possible,
- Line up your nipple with the centre of the flange
- And then flip the flange back over your breast.
Here’s a helpful video that shows you how to do this:
That’ll provide enough suction to start drawing milk from your breast while you’re having a letdown. If you need more you can squeeze the base of the Haakaa to increase the suction power… if it hurts, you’re doing it wrong. Detach and try again.
7 Haakaa Hacks You Need to Know
1) Use It To Relieve engorgement
In those early days, engorgement is a real trial. You’re in a bit of a catch22 situation – if you express, the stimulation encourages those excitable breasts to make even more milk and then you’re right back where you started.
Using the Haakaa, you can suction out just enough milk so that you’re more comfortable.
2) Use it To Relieve Sore Nipples
Sore nipples are the worst! If you’re dealing with this and want something a little more than nipple cream, try this hack:
- fill your Haakaa with warm, salty water.
- place over your breast as per normal so that your nipple is immersed.
- relax as it soothes your sore nipples.
3) Use it To Clear a Clogged Milk Duct
This is an amazing idea! The suction helps to clear the clogged duct, along with the warmth and the epsom salts.
Try it yourself:
- Fill your Haakaa with warm water and some Epsom salts
- Place over your breast as usual so that your nipple is immersed
If your milk duct doesn’t clear on the first try, try massaging it vigorously before trying the Haakaa trick again. I found that my shower head on the hard massage setting was amazing at making lumpy swollen breasts smooth and pudding-like… weird analogy, but it worked.
I tried this with my Gen 3 Haakaa and I must say, I think a Gen 1 or 2 would be better equipped for the job because it’s all in one piece.
4) Use it To Build your stash with saved milk
Every little bit counts! If you can get an extra ounce or two at every breastfeed, it’s an easy and steady way to build up your freezer stash.
Then you’re well on your way to a pumped milk stash for returning to work, or a night out!
5) Use it To Pump On the Go
Most good breast pumps are electric – they’re way more efficient that way. If you need to pump while out and about, the Haakaa works well – particularly as you don’t have to squeeze like with a normal manual pump (ouch my wrists hurt just thinking about it.)
6) Put It In A Coffee Mug to Stop It Tipping Over
The Haakaa tends to be a bit top heavy and the base is somewhat narrow (though it’s much wider with the gen 3) – it’s easy to tip it over and lose all your precious expressed breast milk.
No more crying over spilled milk please – just stick the thing in a coffee mug when you’re setting it down. It’s way safer and easier to handle!
7) Use it With a Pumping Bra
Once baby gets more active, it’s easy for her to knock the Haakaa off you. Even if you get a great suction hold, baby can still break the seal easily enough.
Solution? Wear a pumping bra. That way there’s no way for baby to knock it off!
Can the Haakaa Make You Go Into Labor?
While you can do this with an electric breast pump. Can you do it with a Haakaa?
Unfortunately, no – the Haakaa works via passive suction. You don’t pump the Haakaa so there’s no nipple stimulation happening. This is exactly what makes it so great for relieving engorgement… but doesn’t help for inducing labor.
That’s A Wrap
If you’re planning to breastfeed, you can’t miss picking up a Haakaa. The Haakaa is so affordable, makes life easier and there’s so much more you can do with them than just catch milk. Grab one at Amazon today!