8 Uses for a Silicone Breast Pump

You got your breast pump covered through insurance, purchased the pump parts, and even started pumping in the hospital before the baby came home!  Why would you ever need a silicone breast pump?

Well, for a while, you were a pumping maniac – 8 times a day, just like they told you.  Now you’re not so sure this extreme pumping devotion is for you.

Perhaps you have an oversupply and want to wind down the pumping.  Maybe you have already stored up a good supply of breast milk.  You may be planning on taking a trip where you won’t have access to a pump when you need it.

For all these reasons, you may want to look into some breast pump alternatives, such as a silicone breast pump like the Haakaa.

What Is a Silicone Breast Pump

A silicone breast pump looks like a small vase with a funnel attached to the top.  It functions through suction power only.  To use, bend the funnel flap backwards.  Squeeze the bottom bulb, and attach the pump to your breast.  Once you are holding the pump against your breast, move the flaps of the funnel back into place and let go.  The pump should hold fast against your skin.  You may feel some tugging or even a little pain.  For me, none of the sensations I felt were any worse than nursing or pumping.

The pump uses suction and gravity to work, so it won’t stimulate milk production the way an electronic breast pump will.  However, it catches a surprising amount of milk.  At the height of nursing, I could catch 2 ounces of milk per side just using this silicone pump.

When Can the Silicone Pump Be Used?

1.  Taking a Shower

Warm water stimulates milk production, and you are often advised to take a warm shower or use a warm cloth before pumping.  I like to kill two birds with one stone and use the Haakaa on one side in the shower and then on the other side as I dry off and get ready.  By the time I’m done, I have about two ounces of milk, and I didn’t have to be tied to my pump.

2.  Riding in a Car

If you are serious about pumping, you probably have a car adaptor for your pump so you can pump on the way to work.  Less serious pumpers may not.  What if you are going on a long car trip and don’t want to stop for 20 minutes to nurse?  When we drove 11 hours to see my family at Christmas, I used my silicone breast pump.  I sat in the back seat with the baby, where the windows are tinted.  After I applied the pump, I put on my nursing cover.  I was able to take advantage of being stuck in the same place for hours at a time, and I ended up collecting enough milk to feed the baby bottles all day.

3.  Nursing in the Middle of the Night

I don’t know what happened to my good little night sleeper.  There was a time when she woke only once at night and briefly nursed on one side before returning to sleep.  Those nights were difficult for me because I knew I couldn’t last until morning without pumping out some milk.  So I would attach the Haakaa to the other side while the baby nursed.

The silicone breast pumps actually do their best work when you are nursing on the other side.  They take advantage of the letdown that your baby is stimulating to pull in that extra milk.

As your baby grows, this type of pumping may be harder to do – she may kick off the pump or even pull it off out of curiosity.  Or, like my baby, she may just start eating on both sides at night.

4.  Doing Dishes, Folding Laundry, Sweeping, etc.

Because you are not tied down to a pump, you can attach your silicone breast pump and go about your business.  This means that when you are doing dishes, making lunches, or sweeping, you can be pumping extra milk.  Every little bit helps!

5.  Waiting for Pump Parts to Air Dry

If you are a busy pumper, you are probably tired of cleaning and re-cleaning pump parts.  Let those pump parts air dry per the recommendations.  You can use a silicone pump to get a little extra milk while you’re waiting.

6.  When You Don’t Want to Pump Away Baby’s Milk Supply

This has happened to me too often: I come home from an evening away.  My husband has given my baby a bottle, and she is asleep.  I don’t want to wake up sore and engorged in the middle of the night, so I pump.  Within 30 minutes my baby wakes up and cries for milk.  I have none left, and so we dump that precious pumped milk into a bottle, which she polishes off.  I’m so annoyed now.  I wasted 20 minutes hooked up to a machine when I could have just let my baby nurse that same milk from me.

Now when I come home to a sleeping baby, I put the Haakaa on while I’m getting ready for bed.  It collects just enough milk to make me feel confident about sleeping through the night.  Because it doesn’t suck like a normal breast pump, I know there’s still plenty of milk to be had in there in case the baby wakes up.  And I get to keep the extra milk it pumped for later.

7.  To Take the Edge Off

As you go through your first year of nursing, there will be days your supply feels low, and there will be days when you feel very full.  Maybe your baby has been given several bottles, and your breasts are beginning to feel full.  I pop on the silicone breast pump to grab a little extra milk when I am feeling engorged.  This way I get some milk to store to use for later, and I don’t feel so full.

8.  Any Time Baby Nurses

If you are trying to build up a freezer supply of milk, you probably want every drop you can get.  Any time the baby is nursing, attach your silicone breast pump and catch a little extra milk.  Not only will this help you catch some milk, but you will have pulled the foremilk from one side before the baby latches.  Then the baby will nurse some good, fattening hindmilk.  This will stimulate you to keep producing milk, and the cycle will continue.

Bonus: Milk Savers

If the Haakaa silicone pump doesn’t sound like a fit for your life, consider Milk Savers.  You insert these cups into your bra, and they will catch any extra leaked milk throughout the day.  I never used them myself, but the women in my breastfeeding support group loved them, especially those dealing with too much supply.  Because you wear them, you can have them on all day long, and they can provide you with a lot of extra milk!

 

Silicone breast pumps can make your life so much easier during these days of breastfeeding!  If you intend to breastfeed your baby, make sure to add a silicone pump to your baby registry.  You can start a registry through Amazon.com here.

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.  We are not affiliated with Haakaa, nor was this post sponsored by Haakaa.  Haakaa is just one of several brands of silicone breast pump manufacturers.  We chose to provide links to the Haakaa silicone breast pump to provide awareness as to what the product is.  We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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1 Comment

  • Natalie Christensen December 7, 2018 at 8:43 pm Reply

    Amazing the things that have been invented, I would have loved the milk supply cups.
    Well written,
    Natalie
    ThisHomemadeHome.com

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