The lovely people over at Haakaa very kindly sent me one of their renowned breast pumps to try.
Having been a worldwide phenomenon for many years, the New Zealand brand has now made its way over to the UK and frankly I am so excited about it.
So what exactly is the Haakaa pump and what is so special about it?
Well for a start it is just one piece! No more fiddling about with tubes and bits that would require you to be NASA trained to decipher! The pump itself is made of 100% medical grade silicone which means it’s BPA, PVC and Phthalate free. The silicone means it is very soft and comfortable to use.
It is cord free, does not require to be charged or plugged in.
The Haakaa pump comes in a lovely modern tube container with one page of instructions unlike other pumps where you receive booklets of instructions which can be quite hard to understand.
It is so compact that it can be taken and used anywhere. It is only 14.5 cm in height and 5.6 cm in width so it really will not take up much room in your bag. Perfect for mum’s on the go expressing.
The pump itself makes no sound. This is a huge plus for those mums who are expressing in the same room as their baby and worried the noise of a pump will wake them or when out and about and not wanting anyone to hear the tell-tale sounds of a pump whirring away in the background. I know myself I find the noise of my electric pump very off putting and it makes it hard to relax sometimes.
Cleaning and sterilising is super easy. To clean the breast pump just wash it in warm soapy water then to sterilise just place into boiling water. As there is just one piece you do not have to dismantle lots of little bits like other breast pumps. Do not scrub or use rough materials on the pump as it is made of silicone and you could damage it. You can also place the pump into a dishwasher.
Something that would be a fantastic addition to the range would be a little pouch for placing the Haakaa pump in and maybe in the future Haakaa will think about introducing one to their range but in the meantime I just place it in a sealed food bag to keep it clean whilst on the go.
What is the pump like to use?
At first I did find it hard to get it to attach to my breast however I then discovered that you need to squeeze the pump then place it over your breast and then let go. I previously was placing it on the breast and then squeezing and I could not get it to stay in place.
The flange itself is nice and large and will adapt to all shapes and sizes of breasts, so no more being out of pocket trying to get flanges that actually fit. I had went through three different sizes of flanges with another branded breast pump just trying to get the perfect fit. I was delighted with how easy the Haakaa breast pump adjusts to fit.
Once it is attached don’t keep touching it or moving it around unless you need to get a better position over the nipple area. When it is placed correctly on the breast, the suction is strong enough to hold it. Then you can be hands free!
After placing and securing on the breast give the Haakaa a little squeeze a few times to stimulate a let-down and then let it go and the milk will then continue to drip out and into the pump. That’s it!!! It’s like magic. After a few little squeezes you should see the milk start to flow.
If you find it hard to stimulate a let-down try massaging your breast or applying a hot compress prior to expressing as this can help a lot.
Where you will really benefit from using this pump is when you are feeding and place the pump on the other breast. As you will have a natural let down whilst you are feeding you will find it is so much easier to get a flow of milk. Whilst your baby feeds from one side you can be expressing from the other. This is also helpful when your baby falls asleep and does not want to feed from the other side, you won’t be left with an uncomfortable full breast.
On quite a few occasions throughout the night I was so tired and just wanted to go to sleep when my baby did, that I hadn’t expressed the other breast and woke up with my top saturated!
If you are struggling to get milk out like I did the first few times using the pump if you try and express milk when you are at your fullest either last thing at night or first thing in the morning, or when you haven’t fed for a few hours. Sometimes I would be delayed getting home from work and would quickly attach the Haakaa pump and express a little to relieve the pressure.
Another handy little tip would be to make sure you have a bottle or breast milk storage bag ready to pour the milk into as the pump has a wide surface and you would not want the milk sitting for long in it as it could become contaminated or accidentally knocked over.
My baby is now 18 months so I do not have a huge supply of milk and was unable to collect anymore than around an 1oz at a time, but I do wish I had known about the Haakaa Pump when he was born as my breast would always leak whilst feeding. The pump would have been fantastic for collecting the milk from a let-down on the opposite side to what you are feeding and I recommend it to any new nursing mama to purchase and use from birth.
Just make sure you purchase directly from Haakaa UK or from Haakaa on Amazon. There are so many fake ones circulating and these are extremely dangerous for you and your baby. They will not be BPA and PVC free. Below are pictures showing a genuine Haakaa breast pump and a fake copy so you can be sure to determine you are purchasing the real deal.
Overall I am absolutely thrilled with my pump and have told anyone I know who is breastfeeding or planning to, that this is one purchase they won’t regret. It is cheap, simple to use and the benefits of being able to continue feeding your baby your own milk when you are away from them is the greatest gift you can give them. You alone are providing for your baby and keeping them alive with your precious milk and Haakaa is a brand that compliments this.