Mom Tips,  New Mom

The Complete Guide To Using The Haakaa Breast Pump


There are many different types of breast pumps; but only one that you can effortlessly build a freezer stash of breastmilk, improve milk supply & so many other benefits with little to no effort. All of this is made possible with the haakaa manual breast pump! In this post I will walk you through what the haakaa is, how to use it, how to store your milk from the haakaa & all the other burning questions you have about this amazing tool. It is truly a breastfeeding mom’s best friend.


Breastfeeding may come easy to a lot of moms, but that wasn’t the case for me. I am now on baby number two, and I am happy to say that we are having a good breastfeeding experience so far.


With my first, we struggled to find a good latch and in turn, I ended up with milk supply issues.


I attempted pumping in between sessions, but I started after my milk supply had already stated to diminish. Paired with my laziness when it came to pumping, I ended up giving up on breastfeeding and pumping far earlier then I would have liked.


I felt completely discouraged towards the end, and we started feeding our son formula, and he seemed so much happier.


Looking back, I wish I hadn’t been so hard on myself. This is something so many moms struggle with and it is not something to be ashamed of.


I 100% believe that fed is best, and you and your baby both need to be happy. So wether it is formula or breastmilk your baby is receiving, make sure you are happy, and that is all that matters in the end.


Some Things To Consider Before Using The Haakaa Pump

I am having a far different experience with my second. We had a much better time achieving the right latch, which made a world of difference from the beginning.


I can’t stress enough that without a good latch, all of my tips with be useless. Baby needs a good latch in order to draw the milk from your breast. If they are not productively sucking, they will not be drawing out enough milk, which will lead to a drop in milk supply.


If you are having latch issues, I would definitely recommend speaking with a lactation consultant. They can help position your baby, and help you achieve a better latch.


Signs that your baby isn’t latching well can present itself in many ways. If  it hurts while you are nursing, there is an issue. There might be a bit of discomfort while they are latching at the beginning, but it should not be painful the entire time they are eating. This is a big sign that things need readjusted.


You want to make sure they are latching on to not only the nipple, but as much of the areola as possible. This allows them to draw the milk out more efficiently.


Lastly, you want their lips to be flanged outwards, they should look like fish lips with their chin touching your breast. With enough room between your breast and their nose so they can breathe. With their head tiled slightly backwards.


Keep in mind that it doesn’t need to be a textbook perfect latch, it will be different for everyone. As long as you and your baby are comfortable; nothing is hurting & your baby is productively sucking/swallowing, there should be nothing to worry about.


Those are my biggest tips for creating a good latch, which I have learned by trial and error with both of my babies.


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Haakaa Pinterest Pin


The Haakaa Pump Is A Breastfeeding Mom’s Best Friend

I tend to be a little bit lazy when it comes to pumping, and I find it to be frustrating because I never seem to get much out of it. I had purchased the haakaa with my first baby, but had pretty much written it off after using it once or twice because I found it hard to position while trying to breastfeed.


Paired with the other breastfeeding issues I was having, I never used it again. I purchased another one to try with my second baby, and my life has been completely changed! My main issue was that I wasn’t using correctly & didn’t give it a fair shot before giving up. With these tip’s I hope you can be successful from the start.


Original Haakaa

What Is The Haakaa Pump?

The haakaa is a hand’s free, manual, silicone breast pump that you suction to the opposite breast while you are nursing. Most women, especially if it is toward the beginning of your breastfeeding journey, will have what is called a let down.


This is triggered when your baby starts suckling and your milk will start to “let down”; which is a reflex that triggers your milk to flow.


Generally when one breast starts to let down, so will the other. This is where the haakaa comes in handy.


If you are using it properly, It will catch the let down from the other breast. This allows you to collect and save that milk rather than having it soak into a breast pad. Nobody want’s to waste that liquid gold!


How Do You Use The Haakaa?

The haakaa has a bit of a learning curve to it, i’m not going to lie. Your baby can be squirmy and kick it off if you are not careful. After a few tries, you should find a position that works best for you.


It took me 3 or 4 nursing sessions before I felt like I was using it comfortably.


I have spilled my fare share of milk out of the haakaa. By baby accidentally detaching it or leaving it on the table without a lid. It tips over really easily, so I recommend setting it inside a cup to prevent spillage. I have an older generation haakaa. They now have various models available; which I talk about in depth down below.


Step by step process for using the Haakaa

Step 1: Sterilize your haakaa if it is your first time using it. Place it in boiling water for 3 or 4 minutes, or place it in the dishwasher on the sterilize setting.


Step 2: Attach your baby and make sure you are both comfortable


Step 3: Squeeze your haakaa and start towards the bottom, place it on your breast and then gently release the suction. It should create a tight seal. It might take a few tries to get it right.


My biggest tips for positioning:

  • Make sure the suction is not too strong, you can always take it off and start over. It needs to feel comfortable to you.
  • When positioning the haakaa on your breast; make sure the nipple isn’t touching the sides of the haakaa. There should be space in between your nipple and the sides so you are able to collect milk properly. It could potentially lead to clogged ducts if you are blocking the milk from coming out.


Step 4: If your baby eats from both sides, you can switch and repeat the process on the other side.


Step 5: Transfer your milk into a milk storage bag, mason jar, or bottle. Wash your haakaa with hot water and soap and let it dry for the next feeding.


Step 6: Watch your freezer stash grow!


If you are interested in a visual; here is a tutorial from a certified lactation consultant on how to use the haakaa pump & attach it properly



Why Is The Haakaa So Great?

It doesn’t just catch the let down.


Sometimes when breastfeeding is more established your let down from the other breast can be weakened or non existent due to your milk supply regulation. That is why the haakaa is so great.


Because it is suctioned on, it gently draws milk out so you should collect some milk whether you have a let down or not. I generally will collect between 1-2 ounces each feeding, depending on the time of day and duration of the feed.


I find that I can collect between 12 and 16 ounces by the end of the day, which can create a great freezer stash if you are planning to return to work.


Will The Haakaa Increase My Supply?

Yes and no. This really depends on how you intend to use the haakaa.


You can choose to simply attach it to collect the milk from the let down and then take it off, this will not effect your supply at all.


You can also decide to leave it on for the duration of the feed. Since it is suctioned on it will gently draw out additional milk so you are collection foremilk as well as hindmilk. If you are getting additional milk that will signal to your body to make that much more the next day.


What If I Don’t Leak, Can I Still Use The Haakaa?

Yes! You can absolutely still use the haakaa. When you start nursing your baby that should trigger the let down reflex for both breasts. If that is not the case; because the haakaa has gentle suction, it should still be able to pull some milk out while you are breastfeeding.


How Do You Build A Freezer Stash With The Haakaa Pump?

I would recommend using the haakaa a lot during those first few months while your supply is still regulating, since you will have a lot of excess milk. This will really help build your supply up, especially if you are heading back to work.


This is a perfect opportunity to build your freezer stash while your supply is the most plentiful.


Warning: If you already feel you have an oversupply of milk, I would strictly use it to collect the let down. As that can cause additional issues.


Once your milk starts to regulate; you might not collect as much as you did at the beginning, but you should still collect between .5-3 ounces each feeding. Over time that adds up to a lot of milk to add to your freezer stash.

How Do You Store Your Milk After Using The Haakaa?

Everyone will do this part differently. I like to use the haakaa in the first month after my baby is born & during night feedings as my supply is much more abundant.


If you are like me, you will collect 2 oz max during each feeding, which isn’t enough to fill a storage bag, but over the course of 24 hours, that adds up to be a lot of breastmilk.


Freshly pumped breastmilk can stay at room temperature for 6-8 hours. At night, my routine is to keep a storage bag on my nightstand and fill it with my collected milk after each feeding.


I then store in the fridge or freezer depending on how much I have collected in the morning.


If it is during the day I will do the same thing; except after each feeding, instead of leaving it at room temperature I will store in the refrigerator. You do want to make sure to only combine milk that has been brought to the same temperature.


If you have a bag in the fridge you are adding to, you will not want to add your new milk until it has been chilled.


After I have nursed, I will place a lid on my haakaa and put it in the fridge until I am ready to combine it in my storage bag. Usually around the time I am ready to feed again.


Which Haakaa Pump Is Right For You?

The original haakaa: This is the most basic and most inexpensive version of the haakaa. It works exactly the same as the others but because it doesn’t have the suction base, it can tip over easily. I recommend setting it in a cup if you are going to set it down before transferring it to a breastmilk bag.


Original Haakaa


Haakaa generation 2: This is my personal favorite. It is still very reasonably priced. It comes with a suction base to prevent tipping (which truly is a game changer), and I recommend purchasing the one with the stopper to prevent accidental spills.


Gen 2 Haakaa


Haakaa generation 3: This haakaa pump is attached to a bottle so you can easily pump milk and have it ready to go for your baby. This is a great option if you do a lot of bottle feeding.


gen 3 Haakaa


FAQ’s about the haakaa:


Can you use the haakaa exclusively for pumping?

I wouldn’t recommend using it for exclusive pumping. An electric pump will be the most beneficial for this. If you’d like to incorporate the haakaa, you could try using a hand pump or electric pump on one side and place the haakaa on the other. There needs to be some sort of stimulation to to initiate the let down reflex.

Does the haakaa only collect foremilk?

It depends how you intend to use the haakaa. If you use it for strictly catching the let down, you will most likely only catch foremilk. If you use it for the entire feeding, you will collect foremilk & hindmilk.

Can you use the haakaa for engorgement?

 Yes! The haakaa is great for this purpose. You can place it on your breast to relieve the excess milk

Does the haakaa take milk away from my baby? 

You know your baby best. As long as they are having the correct diaper output & they seem satisfied after feeding, it should not be taking milk away from your baby. If you feel that it is, I would discontinue use after you have collected the inevitable let down from the side you are collecting on.

Can you use the haakaa in replacement of an electric pump? 

No, this is not a replacement for an electric pump. If you are going back to work or plan to be away from your baby for an extended period of time, you will want to use an electric pump. It will produce more output and provide the stimulation needed for your milk to flow.

Do you need to sterilize your haakaa after every use?

It is recommended that you sterilize after each use. Although this is not very practical if you plan to use it multiple times a day. I recommend purchasing a few so you can rotate. I will usually sterilize once a day and then hand wash in between nursing sessions. This is personal preference and you should do what you are comfortable with.


Can you use the haakaa to clear a clogged duct? 

Yes, absolutely! If you incorporate epsom salt and hot water inside the haakaa, and then attach it to the affected breast. This should help relieve the clogged duct. (It’s not guaranteed, but I have had good results)


With all of that said, the haakaa is a great breastfeeding tool

I hope you found this post helpful in answering your questions about the haakaa manual pump. It is such an awesome tool that I think every breastfeeding mom should know about. I hope this is something you can refer back to if you are trying the haakaa for the first time.


Like I said at the beginning, the haakaa can have a bit of a learning curve to it. It has made having a stash of breastmilk on hand so much simpler! I can not recommend this product enough, It has totally changed the game for me!


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Haakaa Pump Tips