The Holy Haakaa
I wish I’d known about the Haakaa earlier on, when I was just beginning nursing and establishing my supply. The reality is that maybe I’d seen or heard of it but I probably ignored it, wrongly assuming that anything remotely manual was just never going to be worth it to me when I had multiple pumps, including hospital-grade, at my disposal. But boy was I wrong.
I’m not sure what prompted me to place the order, but Charlie was already 3 months old by the time Prime’d myself this little gem. At $13, it seems too good to be true.
(FYI, if you’re like me and Prime’ing your way through motherhood, please be sure you’re ordering through “Smile.Amazon.com.” It’s the exact same thing but portions of your proceeds go to the charity of your choice!)
For those of you who have no idea what this Haakaa business is, here’s the deal: it’s a food-grade silicon “manual” breast pump. About the size of medela bottle and falange. When you are nursing your baby, simply suction this little sucker to your other boob and let it work it’s magic. It catches what otherwise might leak to waste, and uses suction to actually draw milk out of your breast. Some people can catch a significant amount during a single feeding. I have never been one to have extra supply and have rarely ever leaked, so at best I got 2 oz but usually it was more like 1. But if you add up an extra ounce every time you feed it really adds up! And you’re not having to work at it that extra gold either – it’s a set it and forget it kind of thing.
How to use:
- Squeeze the bulb and position the flange over your nipple.
- When you have it in place, release the pump and it will suction in place. It may take some practice to get it in a comfortable position.
- Allow the Haakaa to collect milk while you’re nursing. You can release and reattach as many times as necessary. In some ways this can be done to replicate manual pumping – so if you wake up engorged in the middle of the night, you can easily attach this for a few minutes to get some relief.
- When you’re done feeding, remove the Haakaa and transfer milk to bags or bottle. Voila!
The only downside to it, is that if you have a wiggler or kicker like I do, it can be hard to keep it from getting knocked off. You definitely don’t want to break that suction!! Now that Charlie is 5 months old, he is becoming aware of it and tries to grab it or punch it off. I’ve spilled milk that way. I did find via @legendairmilk this one mom’s hack of essentially creating a safety net. I have yet to try it, mostly because I’m usually already sitting down getting ready to nurse before I think of it, and then I’m too lazy to get up and get hair ties. But if any of you try it and it works, please let us know or tag us on IG!
A few other things to note:
- If you feel pain, the suction is too strong. Simply remove the Haakaa and when reapplying it, don’t squeeze the sides quite as hard. This will create less suction.
- The oz markings on the side aren’t accurate. I’d think I got a lot but then pour it into a medela bottle and realize that it was only like 60-75% as much as what the Haakaa reflected.
- The material is like a magnet for hair, so if you have a pet beware! Luckily it’s very easy to clean.
- The shape of it makes it sort of easy to knock over, so be careful. There is a new version that comes on a bottle – I haven’t tried this yet but it seems like it would help it be more stable when you set it down, though I’ve also heard it can be trickier to latch… Any of you tried it? Let us know!