Green Papaya Soup Recipe for Increasing Breast Milk Supply

I struggled with low milk supply when breastfeeding my first baby and was contemplating supplementing with formula.  This soup recipe, passed down from previous generations of mothering know-how was a game changer.  Initially, I drank this soup at every meal.  Within a day or so my breasts felt heavier.  Around day 4 and 5, I was producing more than my newborn could take in and was able to pump some to store.   Eventually, when my baby and I had established a happy rhythm exclusively breastfeeding, I tapered off my soup intake to just the occasional boost. 

I’ve taken culinary liberties and experimented with different versions of this soup to discover that the must-have ingredients that seem to have an effect on my milk supply is the green papaya and a protein source.  This recipe calls for fish, but I’ve substituted the fish for pork and even peanuts to the same happy result.

1 Small Green (Unripe) Papaya

500g Sliced Fish or Fish Bones (any kind that you like in soup will be fine)

A handful of dried red dates

5 Cups Water

Sesame Oil

4 - 5 Slices Ginger (to taste)


  1. De-seed, peel and slice the papaya into chunks.
  2. Prepare and season the fish (I like to rub it with corn starch to keep the fish from breaking up during cooking)
  3. Fry the ginger in sesame oil until fragrant.  Lightly pan-fry the fish (no need to fully cook).  Add 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. 
  4. Add papaya and red dates.  Bring to boil and then lower the heat and simmer until papaya is soft.