It’s been almost 4 years since I last breastfed when I gave birth to my youngest. And, understandably, a lot of mommy products have been developed and released since then. One thing that piqued my interest when I was browsing for baby products before I gave birth was the Haakaa. A well-reviewed breast pump that doesn’t need plugs, wires, and is made of just one (or 2) components, this I have to try, right? Ten months and hundreds of breastmilk bags later, here’s my testimony on how the Haakaa worked out for me.
What is a Haakaa?
Haakaa is a silicone breast pump produced by a 100% family-owned company in New Zealand. It offers environmentally-friendly and safe baby products that are said to be safe for both parents and babies, functional, and even stylish.
The Haakaa breast pump is made of just one or two pieces of silicone: the main pump and the cap. They form a vacuum and suck the milk out of your breasts, sort of like a non-electric and hands-free pump.
How to use a Haakaa?
Since my youngest graced the world a few weeks earlier than expected, I have to admit that I was clueless the first time I used my Haakaa. My baby had to say a few weeks in the NICU and when the doctor gave us the go-signal that she can cup feed a week later, I decided to get the Haakaa so I can build a breast milk stash for her. But no worries since using the Haakaa is also quite simple as I was able to get the hang of it even without a Google search. Here’s how:
- Squeeze the Haakaa’s base and insert your breast on the opening. Slowly release the base. You will feel that this will cause a vacuum or suction on your breast and will then “pull” your milk out.
- If it feels uncomfortable or painful, remove and try again. This time, try to not squeeze it as much as you did before. The more you squeeze it, the stronger the suction.
- Ensure that your nipple is in the center of the opening. Remove and try again if it is.
- Practice makes perfect. With the right placement and amount of suction, it wouldn’t hurt and your milk collecting is a go.
Reasons why I love the Haakaa:
- I love the Haakaa because it enabled me to collect the letdown from my other breast while my baby is latched on to the other. So instead of the letdown going to my shirt or breast pads, I was able to build a comfortable stash out of it even when I went back to work. I was also able to share some of it with other babies via local milk banks.
- It’s easy to clean — unlike other electric or manual breast pumps, I only need to clean two parts with my Haakaa: the main body and the cap, so it’s way easier to do in-between feedings and sleep. Bit of advice: DO NOT put the Haakaa in a UV sterilizer because it will smell burnt. It’s also not recommended to put it in a steam sterilizer because the heat can affect the silicone’s quality which might lessen your Haakaa’s suction over time.
- It’s easy to bring and use anywhere, anytime. Before I got my electric breast pump, I brought my Haakaa everywhere I went whenever I wasn’t with my baby. It was also easy to place and use under a breastfeeding cover or even a loose shirt. Plus, I don’t even need a hands-free bra because it has no problems staying stuck on my breast.
- I don’t have to set it up. No wires, no plugs. Just squeeze and attach and I’m good to go.
- It helped me deal with clogged ducts. One of the things that made me love my Haakaa, even more, is the fact that it helped me deal with my clogged ducts. Mind you, it worked better than my two electric pumps (one is a hospital-grade breast pump) in alleviating my sore breasts during that time. I just had to adjust the suction and squeeze for a few minutes to drain it bit by bit.
- It’s cheaper than typical breast pumps. Breast pumps are expensive, hands-down. So the Haakaa is a cheaper option for moms who also want to start building a milk stash.
- It’s easy to use even with a baby on the other breast. Babies are innately curious creatures, especially as they grow up. I’m not sure if it’s the same with other babies, but my baby tends to ignore the Haakaa more compared to my electric pump. Perhaps because the Haakaa is quieter and has no vibrations. Plus, it’s also easier to position a Haakaa than a regular pump while a baby is latched on to the other boob. And since I don’t have to hold the Haakaa in position unlike a pump, I can check my phone too while breastfeeding and collecting milk, all at the same time.
However, do note that moms are advised to put off pumping until 6 weeks postpartum (unless necessary) because doing it early can lead to oversupply.
If you’re on the lookout for one, I got mine from Babymama. The Haakaa is available in 2 sizes: 100 or 150 ml, 2 models: Gen 2.1 and 3, and has 4 kids of different caps.