Haakaa: Making Mothers and Babies' Lives Easier and Healthier
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Shu Ting Zhang, Founder
Haakaa was the brainchild of Shu Ting Zhang. The idea for the company came when she gave birth to her daughter, Courtney, who was diagnosed with autism, among other disabilities. Though every newborn requires attention, providing for a special needs child is even more challenging and exhausting. Apart from taking care of her child, a mother has to juggle between different household chores as well as office work. Breastfeeding is one task that demands extra time and attention. Shu thought of using a breast pump so that she can spend more quality time with Courtney. However, the mother faced another challenge, as she noticed there was a lack of safe and durable baby products on the market that were suitable for Courtney. There were a limited number of products that were suitable for both children’s health and the environment, and if there were any eco-friendly products, they were costly. Also, Courtney’s sensitivity to certain materials limited the number of products she could use. These unfavorable conditions prompted Shu to found Haakaa. Haakaa’s name is based on the ‘haka’, the New Zealand war dance, which means ‘be a strong fighter, find strength by choosing to smile through whatever challenges life brings.’
Haakaa is a New Zealand-based family-owned baby brand that provides safe, natural, non-toxic, and eco-friendly breastfeeding products, as well as other items that are essential to babies and their parents. The company’s flagship product is the Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump, one-piece portable design that requires no manual pumping, no batteries or cords, and is completely silent. Mothers simply squeeze it once to suction it to their breasts, and then leave the pump to automatically collect breast milk. Haakaa’s Silicone Breast Pump is very discreet and portable, letting mothers express breast milk anywhere, at any time—even when completing other tasks.
Haakaa strives to enable
mums to lead simpler, easier
and greener lives
“Since the pump suctions securely to the breast, mothers can do other things simultaneously. When the pump is full, they can easily empty milk into a baby bottle and reposition it again,” explains Kim Sionzon, Marketing Manager of Haakaa.
Haakaa initially started with only a few products, but soon expanded their range to accommodate the thousands of mothers around the world who shared the unique challenges they experienced through motherhood. In 2018, the company launched another major product, called the Breastfeeding Nipple Shield. It was put into development after listening to the issues of several mothers who complained about sore and cracked nipples due to their babies biting during breastfeeding. Conventional nipple shields provide a thin layer of protection, but Haakaa’s Breastfeeding Nipple Shield puts space between the mother’s nipple and the baby’s mouth, preventing biting or crushing from occurring. It also allows babies to mimic a natural sucking rhythm, making it easier for those that have difficulty latching. “This is what makes us unique because we care about our customers, and keeps innovating to make their breastfeeding journey easier,” states Sionzon.
Innovation is a major part of Haakaa’s mission, and the newly launched Generation 3 Pump and Bottle Series represents the same, as it is designed to grow and change as the child does. Designed with five optional interchangeable attachments, the Haakaa Gen. 3 Breast Pump can transform into a baby bottle to let mothers feed their newborns expressed milk with a simple screw-off, screw-on function. It also has a feeding spoon attachment for when the baby moves on to solids, a sippy bottle spout to help independent toddlers transition from a bottle to a cup and sealing disks to preserve the precious nutrients of expressed breast milk. In the future Haakaa intends to continue to innovate to make new mothers’ lives easier. The company is set to release new products later in 2019. “Right now, they are in the testing stage. Next year, we will be releasing a brand new breastfeeding product, the likes of which nobody has ever seen before,” concludes Sionzon.
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