Every single drop of breast milk is as valuable as gold.
Of course it is. That’s your baby’s food. It has all the nutrition, vitamins, antibodies and water that your baby needs for his development.
Especially when you have low milk supply and you are trying your best to increase it.
One drop of breast milk that goes wasted is one drop of your baby’s nutrition.
That’s how priceless breast milk is.
And you notice a fact.
Every time you breastfeed your little one, it sends a signal to your brain to produce more milk, and then you feel the tight and funny feeling in your nipples. Then you hear your baby’s swallowing milk much faster, his mouth and lips move so quickly and he seems to be satisfied.
The milk is coming out quickly. From both of your breasts. Even there is no baby drinking from the other side.
I wet my breast pad or my shirt a lot every time I fed my son. My whole shirt smelt like milk even after it came out of the washer. So my milk was being wasted while my son was still asking for more.
Hmm, that’s not fun.
Think about it, you are holding your son with your right arm. Your left arm is holding a milk bottle, trying to collect every single drop of your nipple. Then if your baby moves when you have to move to hold him, that milk bottle flips over and lands on the floor.
You try the breast pump to see if you have better luck. But putting it on is a pain in the butt, especially when your baby kicks on the pump or tube and makes it lose. And your baby doesn’t like hearing that pumping sound so close to his ears.
In the middle of that chaos, I talked to my friend and she told me about Haakaa. And since that moment, I took my breastfeeding game into a totally different level!
So what is it? How to use a Haakaa? Let’s join me to find out and answer all the questions that you might have had about it.
What is a Haakaa silicone breast pump
During your nursing session, have you ever wished that you have an extra hand, or someone would give you a hand, to hold a milk bottle next to your nipple and collect all the milk stash?
I wished that a few times a day.
Until out of the blue, it turns out, people already invented such a thing! You will feel like you have an extra hand that doesn’t complain about anything at all.
That extra hand is called a Haakaa silicone breast pump.
A Haakaa silicone breast pump is a one-piece silicone manual breast pump. It is primarily designed to work as a milk collector, no holding is required.
While you are nursing your baby on one side, it will send a signal to your brain, saying that your baby is eating and wants some milk. Your brain will work its way to make your breasts produce more milk, on both sides. This results in leaking from the other breast.
What do you do with this leaking milk?
It is white gold for your baby. Don’t let it go waste to the breast pad.
A Haakaa is designed to collect this leaking milk without any effort from you. But it can do way more than that.
How does a Haakaa help you?
Haakaa works by using suction to draw the milk out of your breast.
Obviously, a Haakaa breast pump doesn’t just collect the leaking milk. In fact, it can draw the milk from your breast out, creating a similar signal as your baby, which, in turn, gives your body a sign to produce even more milk!
A Haakaa can help you in many ways:
Features of a Haakaa breast pump
Who is a Haakaa breast pump for?
The Haakaa is intended to be used by any breastfeeding mom, especially if you still have quite some milk to spare, or if your milk keeps leaking out when you feed your baby.
Haakaa is not necessary for moms with very low milk supply (you don’t have leaking milk) or moms who are about to wean their babies from breast milk.
Haakaa is a one-size-fit-all pump. Even if you have large breasts or small breasts, as long as you have milk, you can use this product.
How to use Haakaa
Step 1: Sterilise your pump by boiling in water for 2-3 minutes.
The silicone material is resistant to heat, so you don’t have to worry about the pump getting damaged while boiling.
Step 2: Fold over the flange
This is a trick that I discovered while using the Haakaa pump. The first few times I tried using it, the pump still came loose if my son kicked it or I accidentally touched it. But when I folded over the flange before placing it over my nipple, it created a better suction and more secure.
You can try both to see which one suits you.
Step 3: Squeeze the pump to create suction.
Do not try to create the strongest suction possible. If your nipples are sore due to too much drinking and pumping, you might not feel comfortable with the suction after you squeeze it.
If you don’t feel comfortable, you won’t produce more milk.
I know it is tempting to make sure the Haakaa pump can get the last drop of milk out of you, but if you see your nipple come out to the neck of the pump too much, you are not doing it right.
It’s not a competition to see who is more hardcore, you or the pump. Be gentle with yourself. The first condition for you to produce more milk is your absolute comfort.
Redo step 3 until you are completely comfortable.
Step 4: Put the Haakaa breast pump in its place
Make sure the nipple is centered in the neck of the pump.
Step 5: Let the milk flow
Hands off. Just let the suction and the pump do its work. Your job is to relax.
How to use Haakaa while nursing
Haakaa is primarily designed to collect leaking milk while nursing, so don’t forget to use it every time you feed your baby.
Nurse your baby on one side, and apply Haakaa on the other side. If you prefer to let your baby drink all the milk directly from your breasts, just squeeze slightly so it can create enough suction to stay secure on your breast.
Once your baby is done with one side, wipe it clean and apply Haakaa on it, while nursing your baby on the other side.
How to clean Haakaa between uses
To clean Haakaa between uses, rise the Haakaa thoroughly with clean water to wash off all leftover milk. Then put the Haakaa into boiling water in 3 - 5 minutes to sterilize it.
Haakaa is dishwasher safe, so you can clean it with a dishwasher. However, make sure you still rise it off with hot or boiling water before use.
Any harsh chemical will do no good to the silicone material. What’s more, it might stay in the silicone itself and go to your milk later. Therefore, avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals. You can use the milk bottle washing liquid to clean it.
How to store Haakaa milk
If you use a Haakaa pump during nursing, generally you can collect a lot of foremilk. However, if you leave it long enough on your breast, it will collect hindmilk too.
Both of these types of milk are precious for your baby’s development, so don’t waste it.
Put your specious white gold into a breast milk storage bag and zip it closely.
If you collect a good amount of milk, you can store that milk bag inside a freezer right away. But if you only have a few drops, you can still store those drops, but leave them inside the cool compartment of your fridge. As breast milk can be stored in a cool condition (like in a fridge cool), you can collect all the drops of milk for 2 consecutive days. After 2 days, you must store them inside a freezer.
My reviews on the Haakaa breast pump
The first time I held a Haakaa in my hands, I didn’t believe it could make any difference. The design is way too simple, which is good for washing. However, even if it is made of silicone, it is relatively hard. I felt a little more trusting toward it.
When using it, it worked great for me. Sometimes Ethan got too excited when I laughed and joked with him, he kicked the pump but the suction was good, the pump was secure.
Because of my sleep deprivation, I had low milk supply so I didn’t collect a lot of milk while nursing, so when I left the Haakaa pump on the table, sometimes it lost its balance and spilled my white gold all over the table.
Actually Haakaa has a few different variations, those variations contain a suction base so it can be placed securely to avoid my situation. I obviously didn’t know about that until now.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does using a Haakaa increase milk supply?
The main mechanism to increase milk supply is to empty your breasts as often as possible. If you only use Haakaa to collect foremilk, you won’t improve your milk supply.
But if you also use the Haakaa pump to empty your breasts, then yes, it can help to increase your milk supply.
Does Haakaa takes milk from baby?
In normal conditions, your body always produces milk when receiving signals saying that your baby needs more milk. So even if you use Haakaa long enough to empty your breasts, then your baby wakes up and wants some milk, your body will work to provide it.
You will have both milk to store and milk to nurse your baby.
So Haakaa doesn’t take milk from your baby. Don’t worry about it.
Can you use Haakaa to pump when you are not feeding your baby?
Yes you can. Actually a Haakaa pump is very handy when you have to travel because it is very small, and no electricity is required.
So even when you are not feeding your baby, you still can use Haakaa to pump.
However, even though Haakaa is very easy to use, I still prefer some other kinds of breast pumps, including hand pumps and electric pumps, mainly because of the massage function.
What if I don’t get any milk from Haakaa?
If you don’t get any milk from Haakaa, then there are 2 possibilities.
Possibility 1: you don’t apply it right. Maybe the nipple is not centered, or the suction is way too strong and causes some kind of stress to you, so your body doesn’t produce milk.
If this is the case, try to adjust the position of the pump and go lighter on the suction.
Possibility 2: you have low milk supply and the milk ejection reflex or let-down reflex is not strong enough to create milk, or you lost that reflex.
If this is the case, try to adjust your food intake, massage,.. To increase your milk supply.
Will the Haakaa pump works for all breasts size?
Unless your nipple flanges are too big for the Haakaa, then you need to buy a bigger size of Haakaa pump. However, you don’t want to get a Haakaa pump that is too big, as it can weaken the suction.
Using Haakaa to treat clogged milk ducts?
As I mentioned in my previous post on how to treat clogged milk ducts, your baby is the best pump machine possible. However, what can you do if your baby is sleeping and you are having pain from hell?
You can use a manual pump, electric pump and Haakaa as well.
For me, a Haakaa is the most convenient because I don’t have to put all the pieces together or sit near an electric plug. I can just simply massage, and then let Haakaa take care of it. It doesn’t always work though, as my clogged milk ducts are very stubborn.
Tips to care for your nipples
Too much nursing and pumping is not a good combo for your nipples. Your nipples can easily get dry, the skin can get irritated and crack.
OMG I don’t want to remember the pain when my nipples crack and I still have to nurse my son.
However, a Purelan 100 - a Medela cream - worked very well for me. My crack nipples were healed only after 2 days.
I used Purelan to apply on my nipples often, after every feeding time, to soften and moisturize the skin. It is safe for infants, so you don’t even need to clean it off your nipples before feeding.
If you know how to use Haakaa properly, you can save quite some breast milk for your baby.
Imagine you are holding your baby in your left arm while nursing. Your right hand is patting his butt, touching his round, puffy and pink cheeks while looking at his eyes lovingly.
He is being satisfied with a strong flow of milk. He likes it and you like it too.
You no longer feel the guilt that you are wasting away the precious white gold - breast milk - of your baby. You no longer need to hold a milk bottle, a breast pad or anything else.
Because you have a Haakaa that stores your breast milk safely and effectively.
You don’t have to do anything. No sound, no installation, no putting on breast pads.
You only have to focus on your little one now. Your little one deserves it.
Just get yourself a Haakaa and make friends with it.