I guess I'm reviewing products with double vowels. This is Instagram viral marketing at its best. Well it wasn't viral, but I saw some posts on Instagram of this breastfeeding natural pump thing called the Haakaa. It looked like a little flower vase and moms were raving about it. I hadn't heard of it but I was so curious to try one and the price was so reasonable I ordered one to try. It is essentially a silicone container without a lid that has a cone shaped lip that allows you to suction it onto your breast without needing a pump source. By squeezing the base and placing it over your areola, it creates a suction that draws your breastmilk out.
The Haakaa in compression after several ounces collected
With my previous children, I always carried around a hand pump in my bag so that I could relieve engorgement if baby was sleeping or not hungry. I also was trying to build up a little supply. Hand pumps require you to mechanically pump them in order to extract milk and they can be a bit tedious to use. If you do use one, the Medela hand pump has always been my favorite. Of course the real deal is an electric pump but sometimes when you are say at the beach you don't want to carry the pump around with you and a hand pump can do the trick.
The verdict? The Haakaa I have to say has become a diaper bag essential for me. It is less bulky and it allows you to express milk without needing to pump (caveat: if you do carry it around for this reason, bring a milk storage bag or a bottle with you to store the collected milk).
This is the pump after 5 minutes on one side
After both sides, a small 8 oz bottle filled
I have found it useful when trying to establish my supply when I've nursed the baby too heavily on one side and need to relieve the other but I don't want to over express. If you just put it on the other breast while nursing it will take advantage of let down and can extract a few ounces while nursing. If you increase the suction it can extract more even as much as an electric pump. It will seem at first that nothing is happening but you will see a little dribble of breastmilk along the side of it and before you know it you have an ounce of milk collected. You can play with the pressure to increase the flow. If you are using it without nursing on one side it will take longer to let down and you may need to force let down.
Nursing and pumping at the same time with no wires or plugs
Sometimes looking at photos of your baby on your phone or looking at your baby if he is there will help, hearing their cry or noises, massaging the breast, and last but not least, changing the suction rapidly by squeezing and letting go of the Haakaa repeatedly can cause let down.
You can use it if you have mastitis to gently relieve engorgement if you can't nurse on one side. I am not a lactation consultant so you must consult with an LC before taking any advice here to adjust your breastfeeding or pumping schedule. For example, if you are in a rush, say it's morning, you are dropping baby off to daycare before work and you have to nurse baby but she's not quite alert, you can put her on the breast and also place the Haakaa to collect breastmilk while baby nurses, allowing you to have some breastmilk in a bottle for later when she rises.
You can also use it to get to the hindmilk which is often a concern for moms who breastfeed where baby is not able to empty the breast before getting full. You can either use it on the active breast or use it to relieve the breast that is not being nursed on. Again, with the changing advice from LCs in recent years, consult an LC if you are considering using the Haakaa as part of your pumping or nursing schedule.
I'm using it as I type and its so perfect for Naptime Nation moms: I've produced around 5 ounces while baby was napping. The other amazing thing about it is that it is handsfree! With my Medela hand pump or my Medela professional electric pump, I have to hold the breast cone in place while pumping which means that I can not do other things like Pinterest or checking fb while pumping.
Lastly the other amazing benefit of it is that it is super super easy to clean. A bottle brush fits easily inside and there are no annoying little parts that need to be washed.
Being a designer myself, if there were anything I would change, it might be having a one way valve so that you can squeeze air out of it after you've affixed it to your breast. As of now you sort of have to squeeze it and deform the shape before placing it on the breast which makes it a little challenging to get it to sit right on the areola. I would also consider making the base more wide so that there would be no way for it to tip over. I would also probably include in the design of the base, some folding to encourage it to collapse yet while not deforming the breast shield. You're welcome Haakaa. This post was not sponsored but to learn more about the Haakaa pump, there is a link provided below which is an affiliate link: