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With so many breast pumps out there, working out which is the right one for you is quite a challenge. Here at Mumsnet, we've put our fair share of the best breast pumps through their paces, and we want to leave no stone unturned when it comes to helping parents find the breast pump that works for them.
The Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump is a breastfeeding essential, especially in the early days. Using gentle suction rather than a pump, it silently and effortlessly draws milk out from one breast while you feed your baby on the other. Read on to find out what our parent-tester thought of the Haakaa.
How we tested
Our parent-tester used the Haakaa over a series of weeks with her newborn. She put it through its paces and took note of how it performed in a number of areas:
Ease of use
Value for money
Once she'd completed her testing, she passed on detailed notes to our team of writers, who scoured the Mumsnet Talk forums for more real parents' authentic reviews of the product.
Here's our verdict on the Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump.
Our verdict at a glance
Price on writing: £13.23 | Buy now from Amazon
What we love
Perfect for collecting leaks while feeding
Impossible to break
Super easy to clean
Small and portable
Collects up to 200ml of milk
What to know
Not a traditional breast pump
Best used while feeding from your other breast
Requires your whole breast to be out (or a special pumping bra)
Haakaa Silicone Breat Pump: What is it?
Not technically a breast pump, the Haakaa is an alternative to a breast pump, designed to collect letdown, leaks and gently draw out excess milk from your breast. The Haakaa doesn’t require any pumping. You simply stick it to your breast, give it a quick squeeze for suction, then you can concentrate on your baby as they're feeding from the other breast.
Made from 100% food-grade silicone, the pump is soft, flexible and all one piece - so there’s no wires or tubes to faff around with, leaving your hands free to deal with your baby.
Here's what the manual says about how to use the Haakaa:
Sterilise your pump before using - boil for 2-3 minutes or use any steriliser.
Roll down the flange and position your nipple at the hole in the centre. Gently roll the flange back up to cover your breast.
Adjust the position until it feels comfortable, then squeeze the bulb of the Haakaa to create gentle suction and draw the milk from your breast.
Once your milk begins to flow, you can concentrate on feeding your baby - there's no need to pump.
When the Haakaa is full with milk, empty it into a bottle or milk collection bag.
The Haakaa is one piece of moulded silicone, so there’s nothing to assemble. It comes with easy-to-follow instructions - there are also some really useful videos on the Haakaa Amazon page showing you how to wear and use the pump. Our tester cleaned and sterilised the Haakaa before the first use, then it was ready to go.
Read next: Best baby bottles for newborns and beyond.
How easy is the Haakaa to use?
Once you’ve got the knack of rolling the silicone flange onto your breast, the Haakaa is pretty effortless to use. You just get on with feeding your baby and let the Haakaa collect letdown milk from your other breast.
Swapping over can be a bit tricky, especially if you need to empty the Haakaa before re-attaching and need to juggle a hungry or sleepy baby too. Mumsnetters recommend buying a couple of Haakaas for convenience, so you can just pop a new one on. There's a suction cup on the base of the Haakaa so it's easy to put down on a flat surface, leaving your hands free until you're ready to transfer the milk to a baby bottle or breastmilk storage bag.
“I found the Haakaa incredibly useful in the early days of breastfeeding so no milk went to waste.”
While it’s straightforward to use, the shape of the Haakaa means you need to have your whole boob out to use it, so it’s best used alone, with people you’re very comfortable with or in conjunction with a hands-free pumping bra.
How comfortable is the Haakaa breast pump?
Our tester found that, while the Haakaa is comfortable initially, it becomes uncomfortable when worn for extended periods or used very frequently. She said she sometimes needed to reattach the Haakaa in order to get a comfortable fit.
Unlike a normal breast pump, which you’d use to a timetable, the Haakaa can be worn whenever you feed your baby - which is often unpredictable. So it’s best to give your nipples a rest by using breast pads or shells for some feeds.
Read next: Best nipple cream, as recommended by Mumsnetters
How easy is it to clean?
The Haakaa is very easy to clean and can be used with any steriliser. It’s dishwasher safe and as it’s just one piece with no tricky nooks and crannies, keeping it clean and hygienic was a doddle for our tester, who used a cold water steriliser.
Is the Haakaa good value for money?
At under £15, the Haakaa is a steal. While it can’t be used in the same way as a normal breast pump, it’s a real godsend in the early days of breastfeeding and for those who produce a lot of excess milk. For the price of a few boxes of breast pads, you can collect that milk and put it to good use.
Read next: Best nursing chairs for comfortable feeding.
Final verdict: Haakaa review
Overall rating: 3.5/5
As a tool for collecting letdown milk, the Haakaa is brilliant. Portable, silent and easy to clean, it’s a godsend for the early days of breastfeeding to help with expressing, leaks and to ease engorgement.
Our tester was really impressed by the quality, ease of use, cleanliness and value for money the Haakaa offers, and she gave it a solid 3.5 stars.
Here’s what mums from our Talk forums think of the Haakaa:
"It was the best thing ever, I wish I found it for my first baby. I just put it on when feeding when I was at home. It meant that a rarely ever needed to actually pump to build a stash for the freezer." (Mumsnetter Jinglebellsoncake)
"I got far more milk using it eventually than expressing alone. I would pop it on one breast while feeding from the other & used them after expressing to get the leftover milk out. I usually ended up with 200ml per day just with the Haakaa." (Mumsnet user Ozanj)
"So worthwhile! Maybe start with one Haakaa. I did and then within a couple of days ordered two more. I could probably have used more in the early days because of the fast let down. I was filling them like mad. But the supply has settled now and 3 is enough to get by with. Love them so much!" (Mumsnetter GromblesofGrimbledon)
About Mumsnet Reviews
All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing – this includes recommendations from the Mumsnet Talk boards. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.