Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
  • donate

Milk collector (Haakaa) on Shabbat

6 February, 2023


Can I use a haakaa on shabbos? It’s a silicone device that catches milk let down from one breast while the baby nurses from the other. It’s not electric, but through its design applies gentle suction to your breast, but there is no active “pumping”. For context–I use it for engorgement, and would love to be able to use the milk for my exclusively breastfed 2-month-old.


Mazal tov on the birth of your baby!

Haakaa makes several different devices, and other companies make comparable ones. We’ll discuss the halachot that apply to each type of device that might be relevant here.

Milk collector or shell

One device is a milk collector (Haakaa) or milk collection shell (Medela). These products apply no suction, but merely collect milk from the non-nursing breast. Since there is no action of expressing or drawing out milk, we follow the view that milk collected in one of these devices is halachically permissible for use after Shabbat.

Sometimes, a milk collector can be applied to the breast in a manner that creates very light suction, which can increase the amount of milk collected. If a device can be used with different levels of suction, it should be used on Shabbat with the lowest level of suction that will keep it in place and, if necessary, relieve engorgement. This is still not considered active pumping, and the milk is halachically permissible for use after Shabbat, as above.

Suction pump

Haakaa also makes a suction pump, which draws milk from one breast more actively while the baby nurses from the other, still using suction. If you can set this type of pump to very light suction, so that it more closely resembles a milk collector or collection shell, it would also be permissible and you could use the milk after Shabbat, as above. The collector or shell would be preferred.

However, if you use a suction pump of this sort on full suction, then placing it and activating the suction is akin to pumping. That would be permissible if needed to relieve the engorgement, but in this case you should not keep the milk.

Medical note

Please note that to ensure the medical safety of drip milk from the second breast, it should be refrigerated or frozen within an hour of collection, and the shell and breast should be cleaned before the shell is used while feeding from the other breast.

We hope this is clear. Please get back to us with any follow up questions.

This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

For further questions or comments: 

The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.

Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under

Accessibility Toolbar