Breastfeeding has been a wonderful journey for me so far with B and I have no intention of stopping any time soon. However, for many breastfeeding mothers, including myself, it is important to express breastmilk for our babies as well as feeding them directly on the breast. The Haakaa Breast pump has become an essential part of that process for me.
Why Express Milk?
The term breastfeeding does not solely cover the act of feeding a child at your breast. In fact, a mum who chooses to feed their child purely with milk that they have expressed is also a breastfeeding mum as that baby has been fed using breastmilk.
Whether you end up feeding solely at the breast, exclusively pumping, or doing a mixture of both, expressing milk can be incredibly useful. Even if you don’t plan of feeding a bottle, being able to do so occasionally, for instance if someone is watching your baby, and having some milk in the freezer for an emergency is a very good idea.
Going into my breastfeeding journey I was determined to master feeding from the breast, but I was also sure that I would want to eventually express milk too. The main reason for this is that I wanted R to be able to feed B too, and I know that there will be times I need or want to be away for short periods of time.
One of the main other reasons that women need to pump is, of course, when they go back to work! For me, work started again just five short weeks after B was born and although I am lucky enough to work from home, having the ability to feed him from a bottle occasionally is really important.
What is the Haakaa Breast Pump?
Unlike any other pump that I’ve come across, the Haakaa Breast Pump doesn’t actually pump your milk. Instead it works by encouraging milk let down and catching milk that might otherwise be lost while you feed your baby.
Made from a single, continuous piece of silicone, the Haakaa attaches to your breast by suction. You simply attach it to the opposite breast as you feed your baby and watch the magic happen!
Is the Haakaa Breast Pump Comfortable?
The Haakaa is made from the highest grade silicone and is fashioned as one continuous piece, although they have recently launched a new version that has a slightly different design.
The flange at the top of the pump attaches to your breast with suction, which you create by squeezing the lower section of the pump as you put it to your breast.
Because there is no actual sucking motion, you don’t have to contend with the feeling that you are being milked that you get from other breast pumps – both manual and electric!
Depending on how much suction you use, you will feel a pulling feeling but the important thing is that you don’t need a huge amount of suction to make the milk release from your nipple. The Haakaa is essentially just enhancing what your body is doing naturally and as such is very comfortable to use.
Why I Decided to Try The Haakaa Breast Pump
I had seen the Haakaa advertised while I was pregnant, and seen that everyone seemed to rave about them. I decided not to get one until I had the baby as I wasn’t even sure that I would feel like pumping for a while, and had been advised not to feed from a bottle until breastfeeding was well established.
When B was born however, we ended up in hospital for a week and I needed to use electric pumps to encourage my milk to come in. Due to the stress of it all everything was a little delayed and I spent days pumping practically none stop to get enough milk to transfer him away from donated milk as he recovered from his infection.
After that experience I was slightly put off pumping, for obvious reasons, and it took me a while to come back around to the idea. Even then, I didn’t think the Haakaa would be right for me!
Does The Haakaa Breast Pump Work?
I believed that because I didn’t have a massively excessive milk supply and my boobs weren’t leaking milk as I fed, that the Haakaa wouldn’t even work. How wrong I was!
Having decided I wanted to pump at least a bottle per day, I was then faced with the issue that B was feeding pretty much constantly! He was (and still is) a massive cluster feeder and I simply didn’t have the time or energy to pump in addition to feeding him directly at the breast. Add to that the fact that he would only comfort at the breast for a long time, pumping seemed a very distant prospect.
That was when I decided to give the Haakaa Breast Pump a go, and once I did I was kicking myself for not using it sooner! The first time I popped it onto the opposite breast as B fed, I got a whole ounce out. It’s safe to say my mind was blown.
It was so exciting to see the milk drip into the bottom of the Haakaa and the satisfaction I felt at the end of the feed was huge. Knowing that I could gradually build up a bottle as the day went on was a great relief!
Now, two weeks after starting to use the Haakaa I get around two ounces per feed and am beginning to build up a supply of frozen milk as well as making sure that R can feed a bottle to B almost every day.
Whilst it’s useful to have an active pump, as I don’t skip the feed that R does and pump to keep my supply up, the Haakaa makes collecting enough milk to feed B a total doddle.
Important Product Features
The Haakaa Breast Pump is a single piece of silicone, which makes it really easy to clean. It can be sterilised using boiling water or in a steam steriliser just as you would clean a bottle.
As a single piece, there also isn’t any fiddly construction, set up or cleaning. You literally just take it out of the box, sterilise and go!
The newer versions of the Haakaa have a suction cup at the base, which is an important addition to the original version. It fixes the only flaw that I could see in the first version, which was that the Haakaa could be easily knocked over. Not any more though! Simply suction it onto the side when you’re done. Haakaa also sell cute stoppers to help parent spills.
Are There Any Cons?
The short answer is that there really aren’t! It’s totally hassle free, silent and easy to use.
Whilst it isn’t something that I would personally use whilst feeding publicly, it’s definitely something you could take with you to feed in a private space when you’re out.
Whilst I would breastfeed B just about anywhere without a second thought, having my other breast on display with a bottle hanging off it might be a step too far even for me!
Would I Recommend the Haakaa Breast Pump?
Absolutely! It has totally revolutionized my breastfeeding journey. It was incredibly important to me that R get the bonding experience of feeding B and that I have the freedom to not feed directly at the breast 100% of the time.
You could use the Haakaa as your only pump, or alongside another more active pump, but either way it is an essential piece of kit for any breastfeeding mum or mum to be! Add into the mix that it is probably the cheapest pump you’re going to find, and it is the best introduction to pumping you could ask for.
I wouldn’t be without my Haakaa now, and can’t wait to see what new versions they bring out in the future!