I’m often asked about various breastfeeding tools and gadgets. One I get asked about repeatedly is the Haakaa Pump. This simple, inexpensive manual pump has become uber popular on social media and among nursing mothers. For good reason it's ease of use and ability to collect milk from the opposite breast while feeding tiny is a great way to save milk. However, is it right for you?
Here are some pros and cons to consider:
• Inexpensive. The Haakaa pump only costs around $20-30 which is similar to other hand held manual pumps.
• Lightweigt/portable. It’s small, made of silicone, and easy to on-the go as a busy mom.
• Easy to use. Roll the flange back, squeeze the bulb and the power of suction does the work. No tubes, power sources, or complicated settings.
• Catches letdown/leaks. The Haakaa can catch the milk flow "letdown" from the opposite breast while your baby nurses, providing relief and avoiding waste.
• Collect milk. The ounces caught with the Haakaa would often be lost to a nursing pad or bra. The biggest perk is the haaka can catch milk that can be saved for later. This milk can be used to relieve engorgement or stock your milk reserve.
• Not designed for regular pumping. The Haakaa only works through suction and the flange fit is one size fits all. This is why it is best suited for occasional milk collection and not meant to replace a standard manual or electric breast pump. Due to the variable suction and flange fit the amount collected is not consistent.
•Risk of spilling. Because it uses an open design with no lid, milk can spill out if knocked over or suction is broken from a flying tiny foot or feisty hands.
• Requires some skill. You’ll need to find the right suction level and angle for your breasts. It can take some practice.
• Can’t empty breasts fully. As a "manual pump", the Haakaa won’t empty your breasts as thoroughly as another standard manual pump. This goes back to the flange fit and varied suction.
• Easy to overuse. Some moms end up useinf it every single feeding and this frequent use can create an oversupply.
The bottom line is that the Haakaa can be a very useful tool for breastfeeding moms when used appropriately and in moderation. But it shouldn’t replace a standard manual pump or personal electric pump if you need to establish supply or pump regularly. As with any breastfeeding tool, follow instructions and speak to a lactation consultant if you have any concerns. I hope this gives you some useful pros and cons to consider before purchasing a Haakaa pump! Let me know if you have any other breastfeeding questions.