The Haakaa is a hands-free silicone breast pump that helps collect milk while you’re pumping or nursing. It can help save all the liquid gold you make for your little one, and its flange spout makes it easy to pour.
Follow these steps to use your Haakaa while nursing.
1. Clean or Sterilize the Haakaa
You should always sterilize the Haakaa before each use, especially if you have a newborn or an immuno-compromised baby.
Sterilizing the Haakaa is much easier than cleaning all the parts of an electric pump. Boil your Haakaa pump in water for about five minutes, or clean it in the dishwasher using the sterilize setting.
Use mild soap instead of bleach to maintain the integrity of the silicone. You can also use a mixture of vinegar and water if your Haakaa gets cloudy.
2. Latch Your Baby
If you’re using the Haakaa while nursing, you’ll want to latch your baby before trying to put on the pump.
Latching your baby first allows your baby to suckle and stimulate the letdown reflex, which tells your body to produce and release milk.
You may have to try different breastfeeding positions, such as the football hold, to keep your baby from kicking the Haakaa from the other breast.
3. Squeeze the Haakaa From the Base
Squeezing the Haakaa gives it the suction necessary to apply pressure to your breast to extract the milk. Release the Haakaa only after you’ve placed it over your breast.
4. Fold the Flange Over
Folding the flange inside out allows you to get even more suction to collect more milk from the Haakaa. The flange is the wide opening.
After you squeeze the Haakaa from the base, you can roll the flange down as much as you can and place it directly on top of your nipple.
5. Put the Haakaa in Place
Put the Haakaa on the breast where the baby isn’t feeding. Your nipple should be in the center of the Haakaa’s opening. Flip the flange back into position.
If you have any discomfort after you’ve folded the flange over on your breast, the Haakaa might not be in the right position. Break the seal with your finger, and reposition it over the center of your nipple.
6. Let the Milk Flow From the Breast Into the Haakaa
After the Haakaa is in place and there’s a proper suction on the breast, your milk should start flowing into the Haakaa.
You don’t need to hold the Haakaa in place, but if you feel like it’s falling off, that means it needs some adjustment. Break the seal with your finger, and reposition it correctly on your breast to get the right suction.
7. Switch Breasts When Your Baby Has Finished
After your baby has finished feeding, break the seal with your finger, and switch your baby to the other breast if necessary. Follow the steps above, and reattach the Haakaa to the breast on which your baby just finished feeding.
Depending on whether or not you have another letdown, you may or may not collect milk from that side in the Haakaa.
How Long To Leave Haakaa On
You can leave the Haakaa on as long as your baby is feeding on the other side, which can be anywhere from five to 40 minutes.
Remember to store the milk properly and promptly because the milk can spoil at room temperature.
After your baby has finished feeding, you can switch the Haakaa to the breast they finished from to collect all the milk from that breast.
Can Baby Nurse After Using Haakaa?
Yes, your baby can nurse after you use the Haakaa on that breast. Your baby’s nursing triggers the letdown reflex that allows the Haakaa to collect milk from the breast.
The Haakaa shouldn’t drain all the milk from your breast, but if you’re concerned your baby isn’t getting enough milk, take the Haakaa off when you’ve got the milk from your first letdown.
Your baby can also get milk from the letdown in your other breast when he or she switches sides.
How Much Milk Should I Get in Haakaa?
The average milk you should get in the Haakaa is about 1-2 ounces of milk during each nursing session.
However, keep in mind that the amount of milk you get from the Haakaa depends on your milk supply. Since every mother produces a different amount of milk, you might make more or less milk than someone else.
The Haakaa definitely wouldn’t produce as much milk as you would get from an electric or manual breast pump since its purpose is to collect leftover milk from a letdown.
Collect any milk that would normally leak onto your shirt or pad to have some extra milk in your freezer.
Why Am I Not Getting Milk in My Haakaa?
Usually, the reason why you’re not getting milk in your Haakaa is due to incorrect positioning. Break the seal of the Haakaa with your finger, and firmly plant it over your nipple again.
You may also have a clogged milk duct. Clear the milk duct before trying again.
If you are using the Haakaa after your baby has nursed, there may not be any milk left in the breast. Try again at the next nursing session before your baby drains the breast.
Do I Need To Sterilize Haakaa After Every Use?
Yes, you need to sterilize the Haakaa after every use to kill any bacteria from the milk. Boil the Haakaa in a pot of water for about five minutes or use a steam sterilizer.
You can also put it in the dishwasher to clean it. Avoid using bleach or commercial cleaning tablets. Instead, use mild soap and warm water.
How Long Can Breast Milk Stay in Haakaa?
Breast milk can stay in the Haakaa at room temperature for four hours.
If you’re not going to use it within 4 hours, it’s best to store it in a refrigerator in an airtight container for four days or fewer. Store breast milk in milk storage bags (these are excellent) or bottles to keep it fresh longer.
Storing Breast Milk From Haakaa
The shape of the Haakaa’s flange makes it easy to pour the collected milk into a bag or bottle.
After you finish collecting milk with the Haakaa, use a milk storage bag or container to store the milk. Store the milk in the freezer for up to six months or in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Does Haakaa Increase Milk Supply?
Yes, the Haakaa can increase your milk supply. Your breast milk supply is dependent on the demand for milk by your baby.
The suction from your Haakaa will stimulate the letdown reflex in the breast and encourage your body to make more milk. You probably won’t have a large increase in supply, but the Haakaa can help you produce a little extra milk.
Does Haakaa Decrease Milk Supply?
No, the Haakaa doesn’t decrease milk supply if you’re using the Haakaa correctly. The Haakaa is designed to collect milk from the breast, and it doesn’t take as much milk from the breast as an electric or manual breast pump.
You may notice a decrease in milk supply if you rely on the Haakaa as a breast pump instead of emptying the breast during a pumping or nursing session.
How To Use Haakaa To Relieve Engorgement
One of the many benefits of the Haakaa is that it relieves the unpleasant symptoms that come with engorgement. Follow these steps to get some relief from engorgement.
1. Sit in a Comfortable Position
If you’re in pain from engorgement, you should sit in a comfortable position on the couch or rocker to avoid further discomfort. Put some pillows around you and sit upright to avoid hunching.
2. Get the Proper Suction
Squeeze the haakaa from the base, fold the flange down, and put the flange on your breast before flipping it back over.
Make sure your nipple is in the center of the Haakaa’s opening for the proper suction. Break the seal with your finger if you feel any pain from improper suction.
3. Squeeze and Massage Your Breast To Release Milk
When nursing, your baby would encourage the letdown reflex. When your baby isn’t nursing, you can use hand stimulation to signal your body to produce and release milk from the breast.
Massaging your breast can also help relieve pain from engorgement.
4. Keep the Haakaa on For Five Minutes
You can use the Haakaa for as long as your symptoms persist. Most women feel relief after five minutes. After collecting the milk, you can switch to the other side, and store the milk you collect in a breast milk storage bag or container.
The Haakaa is an excellent resource to have if you’re pumping or nursing. You can relieve engorgement or clear clogged ducts without having to pull out your electric pump and wash all the parts.
Mom of three (including identical twin boys), wife, and owner of Parents Wonder. This is my place to share my journey as a mother and the helpful insights I learn along the way.