How to Use a Haakaa (Silicone Pump)Effectively

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You want to breastfeed your baby for the multiple health benefits but modern society doesn’t always make it easy. New moms need to know all the best available breastfeeding hacks like how to use a haakaa silicone breast pump for multiple things. A haakaa is an extremely affordable and irreplaceable piece that should absolutely be in your breastfeeding tools.

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Why is a Haakaa Important for Breastfeeding Moms

American parents are unique in not getting a single day of paid parental leave guaranteed by law. While many organizations offer some maternity benefits, they’re often insufficient, covering only a week or two versus the whole year many new parents in competing nations get.

A breast pump is a must if you plan to work while raising a child, but it is also extremely handy even for stay-at-home or work-from-home mom. There are so many benefits to using a breast pump.

Breast pumps can help you to increase your breastmilk supply, can relieve engorgement, can help you start a breastmilk freezer stash so that you can get a break every once in a while and let someone else feed the baby for once. (It’s tough to be on call every hour 24 hours a day with no end in sight for breastfeeding.

However, traditional devices are bulky and inconvenient. Plus, they’re too pricey to allow most moms to keep one at the office and the other at home or one upstairs and one downstairs unless they get really lucky with their registry.

Enter the haakaa. This silicone breast pump alternative offers solutions to many problems new moms face. They can be used for more than just a manual breast pump.

There are probably lots of questions that you might have about a haakaa that we will be answering in this post.

RELATED: Breastfeeding Tips That Save Your Sanity

What is a Haakaa?

First off, what is a haakaa?

It might sound like a component on an alien spacecraft. (Say ha-kuh.) However, this hands-free, gentle silicone pump might be the answer to your new-mom prayers.

The haakaa uses suction power to draw milk out of your breast gently. Unlike traditional pumps, it doesn’t require any tubing, spare parts, or power sources.

All you have to do is press the haakaa to your breast to make it work. How easy is that? It’s small and discreet enough to use nearly anytime and anywhere.

Has inflation taken a bite out of your new mom’s budget? Have no fear. The haakaa retails for just over $20 for a basic model (with a lid, cheaper if you just want the pump itself)— even luxury alternatives run less than $50.

Compare that to the average breast pump, which rings in at anywhere from $100 to more than $300. The haakaa is affordable enough to keep multiple on hand. However, these conveniences aren’t the only reasons to add a haakaa to your baby shower list.

Can I Use a Haakaa Instead of a Pump?

You might correctly wonder, “Can I use a haakaa instead of a pump?”

After all, you can get three or four of these devices for the same price as one pump. Budget-conscious moms or those suffering from “mom brain” (but don’t we all?) could stash one nearly anywhere.

The answer to the “Can I use a haakaa instead of a pump?” question can only be answered by one person — you. Some people find a manual pump — or several — sufficient for their needs.

For some people, manual pumping is actually much more effective than an electric pump. However, other moms prefer an electric pump complemented by occasional haakaa use.

What factors might determine if you can use a haakaa instead of a pump?

Ask yourself the following questions based on what women often report on online forums:

  • Are you new to breastfeeding? You might have more success using haakaas when you first begin your breastfeeding journey. Often learning how to use a manual pump is more effective than an electric pump.
  • Do you have a good flow? If you have no trouble with your flow, you’re an excellent haakaa candidate. Some women struggle to get enough milk with this device. But while the instructions will tell you to simply suction the haakaa onto your breast, you can manually express the milk WHILE the haakaa is suctioned on. The combination of manual stimulation and suction can be even more effective than a traditional electric pump.

RELATED: How to Increase Your Milk Supply with Supplements

Having a high supply can make learning how to pump or pumping in general much easier. You can use supplements to effectively increase your milk supply, begin eating lactogenic foods, try some lactation smoothies, or try a breastfeeding meal plan designed to increase milk supply like the Milky Mama’s Plan.

breastfeeding diet plan postnatal

How to Use a Haakaa as a Manual Pump

To use a haakaa as a manual pump — squeeze the bottom of the device, holding the flange back. Press the haakaa “mask” on your clean, dry breast, placing your nipple in the center. Flip the flange back down over your breast. That’s it.

If it doesn’t attach right away just reset and attempt again.

Once you know how to use a haakaa as a manual pump, you’ll see how convenient it is to pump anytime, anywhere. You’ll also see how discreet these devices can be. If you carry a large enough cardigan or shawl, you could pump without anyone knowing what you’re doing.

Not that you necessarily want to hide your breastfeeding. There’s nothing more beautiful than creating and nurturing new life, but not all of us are comfortable doing it anywhere without covering it up. Especially if you are at work.

RELATED: How to Increase Your Milk Supply for Going Back to Work

How to Use a Haakaa as a Milkie

There are so many other great advantages of a haakaa pump beyond simply using it as a breast pump. The first is as a “milkie.”

You can place products on your other breast as you breastfeed called a milkie. When you breastfeed, both breasts expel fluid. Many moms waste the milk from the other breast using a bra pad.

However, your haakaa pump also doubles as a milk-saver. (In fact, I feel this is really the best way to use it!) Attach it to the other breast while you breastfeed your baby. You’ll already have a jumpstart on their next feeding by the time you burp them, all with no mess.

How to Reduce Pain With a Haakaa Pump

A clogged milk duct can drive you crazy with pain. Fortunately, you can use your haakaa pump to unclog yourself and feel better. You’ll also need Epsom salts and warm water.

Fill your haakaa pump with enough warm water to touch your nipple. Add one or two tablespoons of Epsom salt. Attach your haakaa to your breast and let the combination of heat, salts, and suction remove the clog.

You may need to keep the device attached for a couple handfuls of minutes to see the results. If you don’t succeed the first time, keep trying — many moms make three or four attempts.

Increasing Your Milk Supply With a Haakaa Pump

Maybe you know programs like the Milky Mama Postpartum Plan to get back your pre-baby shape while increasing your milk supply. You might have even followed the Perfect Pregnancy Plan to support your baby’s DNA and generate nutrition while expecting. However, did you know you can also increase your milk supply using your haakaa pump?

Use your haakaa to pump milk between feedings. This way, your haakaa trains your body to produce enough for a certain increased number of feedings per day. With less downtime, your body senses the need for more milk and ramps up the supply.

The haakaa provides a safe and natural alternative to using more advanced technology to increase your milk.

Save Money and Milk With Your Haakaa Pump

Your haakaa can help you save your milk, which lets you keep more of your cash. You don’t have to buy formula to supplement or if you want someone else to feed the baby when you can capture more milk at each feeding time.

The silicone lid allows you safely store milk within the device itself and the low price means you can invest in multiple to meet your needs.

Wrapping Up How to Use a Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump

A haakaa may sound and look like some strange alien device. However, these handy silicone breast pumps deserve a spot on nearly every new mom’s baby shower list. 

You now know how to use a haakaa as a manual pump. You can use your haakaa instead of a pump or in conjunction with another device to store enough milk to meet your growing baby’s needs. What is your favorite trick to increase your milk supply? Is it using a breast pump? Or something else? Let me know below!

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beth rush

Contributed by Beth Rush. Beth is the Managing Editor and content manager at Body+Mind. She is a well-respected writer in the personal wellness space and shares knowledge on a variety of topics related to nutrition, mental health, disease prevention and holistic health. In her spare time, Beth enjoys cooking healthy recipes and trying out new fitness trends.

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