You might be wondering if you try out the popular haakaa pump, and if it will help to increase your milk supply. I used the haakaa pump with both of my babies and thought it was a very useful tool.
The haakaa can be used to increase your milk supply or to build a freezer stash, especially during the first few months postpartum.
The struggle of your baby not getting enough milk during a nursing session is worrisome.
Sometimes when your baby can’t get a proper latch you may decide to pump to make sure the baby is getting every ounce they need.
Many women will even need to pump to have milk for their baby while at work, a night out, or anytime they may be away from their baby.
Not needing to worry about your milk supply will give make your breastfeeding journey far better.
Does the Haakaa pump increase milk supply? A Haakaa pump will increase milk since breastfeeding is all supply and demand. Your breast produces the amount of milk your baby needs. When you pump your body produces more milk thinking the baby needs more. Any breast pump will help increase your supply.
The Haakaa pump is a great way to boost your supply without needing to worry about a power source, tubing, the cleanup, and sterilizing all those parts and tubing after every use, hauling a large pump around and the Haakaa pump is silent.
Yes, technically any pump could help boost your supply, but the Haakaa has so many great things going for it.
Its gentle suction helps naturally stimulate without the sometimes uncomfortable pull of an electric pump that not every woman responds to well.
How Does The Haakaa Pump Work
The Haakaa Pump works by suction alone, and your body does the rest. There is no need to keep pumping.
Once its latched on, it will collect any milk that flows out. If needed, you can help stimulate the milk flow by massaging your breast.
The pump also stays suctioned to your breast to keep your hands free and more comfortable.
It’s ideal for women who do not respond well to electric breast pumps, who do not want to spend a ton on an electric pump, or those who just generally don’t want a larger pump to lug around.
My Experience With the Haakaa Pump
I found that the haakaa pump worked the best during the first two or three months postpartum. However, every mother’s body is different.
The haakaa also worked the best for me during the early morning hours (from 1 am until 7am), when my milk supply was the highest.
The suction from the haakaa usually works very well if you leak or if you notice you need nursing pads. Generally, most moms will have their milk supply regulate after the first 6 to 12 weeks postpartum.
After my milk supply regulated, I did not get engorged or leak, and I noticed that I did not get much from the haakaa.
At that point, in order to increase my milk supply, the best thing I tried was power pumping with an electric pump. (You can read more about power pumping in my article here).
Another tool that was really helpful for my supply was this milk boosting protein powder that I had for breakfast every day. The chocolate fudge flavor is really delicious!
Can You Tandem Nurse With The Haakaa Pump
The Haakaa Pump is the perfect pump to tandem nurse. Women can lose ounces of milk in each nursing session. Every time you nurse, both breasts typically will have a letdown simultaneously.
While your baby nurses away on one side precious milk drips into a breast pad, soaks your shirt and gets wasted.
By attaching the Haakaa Pump to your breast before a feeding, it will collect every drop as you nurse your baby on the opposite breast.
What Is A Let-Down?
As your baby starts to nurse, you may feel a tingling or warm sensation come through your breast. However, some women may feel nothing at all. Both are very normal as every woman is different.
That feeling is a sign that your baby has stimulated your breast to release milk to flow quicker.
You can sometimes feel and hear your baby swallowing more rapidly. It usually only happens once or twice during a feeding.
Some women experience letdowns any time their baby cries, they see a picture of their baby, think about their baby, or even hear a stranger’s baby cry. The human body’s maternal instinct is an amazing thing.
How Does The Haakaa Pump Compare To An Electric Pump
There is truly no comparison when you are talking about an electric pump that sucks in a way to keep triggering letdowns, while collecting milk into sealed bottles or a small suction device that attaches to you.
|Haakaa Pump||Electric Pumps|
|Many women have no issues at all||Some women don’t respond well to them|
|Very Cheap (Under $25)||Expensive|
|Compact, discreet, light weight||Bulky, many parts and noisy|
|Collects milk effortlessly while you nurse on the other side, with no waste||Awkward to pump with while nursing|
|Gentle suction||Can sometimes be painful if set too high|
|One part to clean, some models do have two parts, but it is extremely easy to sanitize||Tubing, bottles, valves, breast shield and just too many parts to clean each time|
|Not much extra effort||Time consuming|
|Suctions to your breast and does all the rest for hands free pumping||Only a few are hands free. Others require a pumping bra to keep the flanges attached.|
It really comes down to what your body will respond to, makes you comfortable and your individual needs are.
Some women will have an electric pump and use the Haakaa only when they nurse their baby or in the shower (warm water can trigger a letdown)
I Exclusively Breast Feed, Why Would I Need A Breast Pump?
That’s a really easy answer: wasted milk. Some women are able to only nurse, never needing to worry about pumping, and that is incredible to be able to do.
It is always a good idea to have a small stash, though, in case of an emergency trip, an accident, or if you just need a break – all perfectly valid reasons to have a handpump on hand.
The Haakaa pump, specifically, is a great thing to have just to catch what leaks out of your other breast, without bothering your supply.
Other Uses For Breast Milk
If you are using the Haakaa to catch your extra milk, but if you’re exclusively breastfeeding, there are so many other things you can use the milk for besides feeding your baby:
- You can freeze the extra and mix it with foods when the baby is older.
- It’s great in a bath to help soothe a baby’s skin.
- It can boost older siblings’ immune systems. Putting milk in a sippy cup for them to drink is beneficial.
- Try making milk popsicles for a teething baby.
- NICU’s are almost always looking for donor milk for premature babies (this does require an application process and blood tests).
- You can donate milk by searching for a milk bank at HMBANA.
Other Ways To Boost Milk Supply
There are a few methods out there to boost your supply other than pumping a bit more to make your body think your baby needs more. You could:
Stay extremely hydrated.
Drinking plenty of water or a sports drink with electrolytes is great for your health, in general, but the other benefit is that it boosts your supply.
Nurse you baby more often.
Nursing will tell your body your baby needs more milk.
Make sure to use your Haakaa Pump on the other side to catch the extra milk.
Try a decent multivitamin and healthy diet.
Keeping your body full of the nutrients it needs is a great start to your breastfeeding journey. Some doctors might recommend you continue with your prenatal vitamins while you’re nursing.
Relaxing and managing your stress levels can make multiple letdowns in a single pumping or nursing session easier, which will benefit your supply.
Oatmeal and Lactation Cookies
Some women try steel oats and other little “lactation” snacks marketed towards breastfeeding moms.
If it works for you, then by all means eat them, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t see an instant change.
They are full of nutrients, but they are also high in fat and (often) sugar. Plus, there isn’t a magic ingredient that is proven to quickly boost your supply in them.
Wear Looser Bras
Tight bras can hurt your supply, cause engorgement, clogged ducts, or worse case, mastitis.
There are thousands of different style pumps on the market. They are not all for everyone and each will have their pros and cons. The Haakaa Pump is a very affordable, lightweight, almost effortless pump to have on hand. Using it every feeding alone will collect plenty of milk to add to the freezer that would otherwise be wasted.
Must-Have Pumping Gear
Hear are a few of my favorite pumping items that made my life so much easier.
- This is the best pumping bra that is actually comfortable to wear all day long (the Sublime version). Use this link and code Lisa15 for a special discount on your purchase!
- Try the Chocolate Fudge flavor of this yummy milk-boosting protein powder.
- Click here for the best deal on the WillowGo pump!
- These are the best baby bottle labels that will not wash off or wear off. The pineapple design and the whale design are two of my favorites.
- My favorite pumping bag that is roomy enough for my pump, a laptop, a cooler, and a lunch bag. They have so many cute colors and prints but I really love the Floral print.
- These custom baby name onesies I found on Etsy are so adorable I ended up buying them in two different colors. The shop even has a really cute matching mommy and me set.
- I used this tiny mini fridge (link to Amazon) near my pumping station at home so I didn’t have to trek to the kitchen after a middle of the night pumping session.
- This postpartum care box has a couple of my must-have items for the first few months after baby arrives. The tubes that help with engorgement provide so much relief.
- If you enjoyed this article, you can help support this blog by buying me a coffee here. Your support is very much appreciated!
Source – Breastfeeding 101 – The Let-Down