The Haakaa breast pump has become a popular tool for breastfeeding moms to collect letdown and build up a stash of breastmilk.
But there are some questions around proper storage and use of the Haakaa, including whether you can put it in the fridge between pumping sessions.
In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about storing your Haakaa pump parts and milk safely.
What is a Haakaa?
A Haakaa is a simple, handheld milk collector that works through suction. It allows you to catch the letdown from the breast you’re not actively nursing from and collect the milk that would otherwise be lost.
The Haakaa is usually made from food-grade silicone and shaped like a small, rounded bowl with an extended spout at the bottom. It’s lightweight, easy to use one-handed, and completely manual; no batteries or cords are required.
The suction from the Haakaa allows it to stay put on your breast and catch any dripping milk hands-free. This makes it convenient for collecting milk during breastfeeding or pumping from the other side.
Can You Refrigerate the Haakaa Itself?
Yes, you can refrigerate the Haakaa milk collector between uses, as long as you wash it properly first. The key is to ensure no milk residue is left in the device, as this can spoil and pose health risks.
Here are some tips for refrigerating your Haakaa safely:
- Wash the Haakaa thoroughly with hot, soapy water after each use. Make sure to clean the inside, outside, lid, and any nooks and crannies where milk could hide.
- Sterilize it occasionally. You can use steam sterilization bags, boil it, or use a sterilizing solution. This kills any germs that might build up over time.
- Make sure it’s completely dry before refrigerating. Moisture left inside could allow bacteria to grow. Air dry thoroughly or use a clean towel.
- Store it on a clean surface in the fridge, like a shelf in the door. You don’t want it touching anything dirty.
- Replace it every 3-6 months. The suction may weaken over time. Look for cracks, cloudiness, or deformities.
As long as you wash and sterilize the Haakaa properly and store it carefully, refrigerating it between pumping sessions is perfectly safe.
Storing Expressed Breastmilk in the Haakaa
While you can refrigerate the Haakaa itself, you’ll also need to know the best practices for storing breastmilk inside the Haakaa if you plan to accumulate milk over multiple sessions before transferring it to bottles or bags.
Here are some tips for safely storing breastmilk in a refrigerated Haakaa:
- Fill the Haakaa no more than 3/4 full to allow for expansion as the milk freezes. Overfilling can cause the silicone to warp or crack.
- Snap the lid on tightly so no spills or contamination occur. You may want to place it in a zip-top bag for extra protection.
- Refrigerate right away after pumping, ideally within 4 hours. Breastmilk can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Transfer to a storage bag or bottle once the Haakaa is full. Don’t exceed fridge storage times.
- Date the milk so you know when you pumped it. Use the oldest milk first when feeding a baby.
- Don’t add fresh milk to already cooled milk, as this can impact the temperature and freshness.
- Don’t store milk in the Haakaa longer than refrigerator guidelines, even if the Haakaa itself can tolerate longer fridge times.
With proper cleaning and safe storage methods, the Haakaa is very convenient for collecting and refrigerating breastmilk between feedings.
Just be mindful of milk storage best practices for health and safety.
Tips for Using the Refrigerated Haakaa
If you plan to refrigerate your Haakaa between pumping sessions, here are some useful tips to get the most out of it:
- Warm it up before use. A cold silicone Haakaa right out of the fridge may cause discomfort. Rinse it with warm water or let it sit out for a few minutes until it warms up.
- Inspect for cracks or damage. Don’t use a compromised Haakaa. Look it over carefully before each use.
- Sanitize before pumping. Wash with soap and hot water, or sanitize with steam, boiling water, or sanitizing wipes. This removes any germs the cooled milk may have picked up in the fridge.
- Empty out any old milk so you have a clean container for the next collection. Don’t add new milk to existing chilled milk.
- Use care when sealing the lid. Milk can leak out of a fridge. Haakaa if the lid seal isn’t tight enough. Press firmly all around the rim to get good suction.
- Transfer the milk to storage bags once finished. Don’t exceed refrigeration times. Fridge-stored milk is good for up to 4 days.
With proper cleaning and storage techniques, refrigerating your Haakaa between uses should not affect performance or milk collection ability when pumping. Take care to sanitize, tighten the lid, warm it up, and transfer the milk to storage once you’ve finished pumping.
Cleaning a Refrigerated Haakaa
Cleaning your Haakaa properly is key to safe refrigeration and reuse. Here are some washing tips:
- Rinse with cold water after each use to remove residual milk before thorough washing. Cold water helps remove fat deposits.
- Wash with hot, soapy water. Use a bottle brush to scrub inside, especially the rim where milk can collect.
- Sterilize with steam, boiling water, or a sanitizing solution at least once daily. This kills bacteria and viruses that might accumulate in fridge storage.
- Inspect for cracks or cloudiness that may indicate worn silicone. Discard and replace if there are signs of damage.
- Air-dry fully before sealing the lid and refrigerating. Moisture inside creates an environment for bacteria to grow rapidly.
- Sanitize before reusing, even if refrigerated. The cold won’t kill germs from previous pumping sessions.
- Don’t use soap with added moisturizers, as this can leave residue. Fragrance-free, sensitive-skin soap is ideal.
Thorough, hot soapy washes, along with regular sterilization and air drying, ensure your refrigerated Haakaa stays clean and safe for multiple uses. Proper cleaning removes bacteria and prevents contamination.
Haakaa Refrigeration and Freezer Tips
In addition to refrigerating your Haakaa between sessions, you may also want tips on freezing breastmilk stored in the Haakaa or freezing the Haakaa itself for long-term use.
- Freeze breastmilk in 1-4 ounce portions. Small amounts thaw faster. Refrigerate any leftover fresh milk.
- Leave space for expansion. Don’t overfill the Haakaa, or the frozen milk can warp or crack the silicone.
- Store milk towards the back of the freezer, where temperature is most consistent. Avoid the door.
- Label milk storage bags or bottles with the date pumped and amount. Use the oldest milk first when feeding.
- Limit freezer time to 6 months for best quality. Human milk has important nutrients that diminish over time.
- You can freeze the Haakaa itself for long-term storage. Ensure it is completely dry first to prevent cracking.
- Thaw frozen milk slowly by putting it in the fridge overnight or holding it under warm running water for a few minutes. Don’t microwave.
- Discard any unused frozen milk once thawed, as bacteria can grow rapidly at room temperature after thawing.
Following safe freezing guidelines ensures you get the most value out of your pumped milk while retaining important nutrients for your baby’s health.
Frequently Asked Questions about Refrigerating Haakaa
Here are answers to some common questions about safely storing and refrigerating your Haakaa breast pump:
How long can I store milk in a refrigerated Haakaa?
Refrigerated breastmilk is good for up to 4 days from the time it was pumped, even when stored in the Haakaa. Be sure to transfer to another container once the Haakaa is full.
Does refrigeration impact the Haakaa’s suction ability?
Refrigeration should not affect suction ability as long as the silicone is not compromised and the lid has a tight seal. Inspect it carefully and warm it before use.
Can I store the Haakaa with milk leftover inside?
It’s not recommended to leave milk in the Haakaa during refrigeration. Always transfer pumped milk to a storage bag or bottle first. Leaving milk in can lead to bacterial growth as it expands and contracts with temperature changes.
How often should I replace my Haakaa pump?
Plan to replace your Haakaa every 3–6 months. The suction can weaken over time with regular use. Also inspect regularly for cracks or cloudiness that indicate worn silicone.
Is it okay to freeze the Haakaa?
Freezing the Haakaa itself can extend its lifespan. Ensure it is completely dry first. Allow it to thaw gradually before the next use. Don’t freeze breastmilk inside it.
Can I refrigerate a used Haakaa without washing it first?
Always wash after every use before refrigerating. Milk residue left inside will spoil quickly and pose contamination risks. Follow cleaning best practices.
How do I warm up a cold Haakaa from the fridge?
Rinse it under warm water or let it sit out for a few minutes until it reaches body temperature. Never microwave a Haakaa. Sudden, extreme temperature changes can damage silicone.
What’s the best way to sterilize a refrigerated Haakaa?
Steam sterilizing bags, boiling them, or using a sanitizing solution are all effective options. Sterilize at least daily for refrigerated pumps. Ensure it’s dry before sealing and returning it to the fridge.
How can I prevent leaks with a cold Haakaa?
Press firmly around the rim when sealing the lid to create a tight suction. Also, consider storing it inside a zip-top bag for extra leak protection during fridge storage.
Hi, I’m Julie, the passionate foodie and founder of Juliesfamilykitchen.com. I created this blog out of a drive to prove someone wrong, and then I realized how much I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. In my free time, when I’m not running around after my kids or spending quality time with my partner, you can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes.