Breast Milk Supply Boosting Recipe: Green Papaya Fish Soup

7 min read

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By Wing Joo Loong Team

Breastfeeding is incredible for both you and your baby, offering a plethora of well-known benefits. Not only is it a beautiful and natural way to foster that special bond with your little one, but it also supplies them with unique nutrients that are not found in formula milk. Packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins and even immune-boosting probiotics, breast milk provides the ideal nourishment for your baby’s growth and development.

It is truly no surprise that esteemed health organisations worldwide, including the World Health Organisation, strongly advocate for breastfeeding for at least the first five months, with continued breastfeeding until your child turns two[1].

Reasons for low milk supply

However, some mothers might find it challenging to maintain a steady supply of breast milk and here are some reasons why:

  • High levels of stress, anxiety or fatigue
  • Eating or drinking too little
  • Poor latching
  • Inconsistent or infrequent breastfeeding sessions

How to boost breast milk supply?

To boost breast milk supply, consider the following:

  • Maintain a balanced diet that includes nutrient-rich foods from all food groups, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, such as water, herbal teas and soups
  • Empty your breasts regularly and incorporate pumping sessions between feedings to further stimulate milk production
  • Implement a power pumping schedule, which involves pumping for short, frequent intervals (e.g. 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off, for a total of one hour) to mimic cluster feeding and boost milk supply
  • Try to nap when your baby does as lack of sleep can impact milk supply

Additionally, you can enhance your diet by incorporating traditional Chinese confinement recipes. A popular example is green papaya fish soup. This dish combines the galactagogue properties of green or unripe papaya, which supports lactation, with the nutritional benefits of fish, such as essential proteins and omega-3 fatty acids that benefit both you and your baby's well-being.

Breastfeeding mom

What are the health benefits of green papaya fish soup?

Green papaya is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Besides supporting lactation for breastfeeding moms, green papaya fish soup can also:

  • Promote wound healing and tissue repair
  • Boost Qi (vital energy) and nourish blood
  • Support hydration
  • Improve digestion
  • Support the body's immune system

How to cook green papaya fish soup?

Ingredients:

  • 500g red snapper / threadfin fish bones
  • 400g threadfin slices
  • 1 small green papaya, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6 slices of Bentong old ginger
  • 2 stalks of spring onions, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 10g rice paper pith
  • 6-8 red dates
  • 1 tbsp wolfberries
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • Pepper
  • Black sesame oil

Green Papaya Fish Soup

Servings: 3 to 4
Preparation time: 15 to 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours

  • Add some sesame oil to a pot. Stir fry the ginger slices and spring onions until fragrant. Add fish bones and fry for 2-3 minutes before adding 2 liters of water.
  • Bring to a boil and add the rice paper pith and red dates. Cover the pot and simmer under low heat for 1.5 hours.
  • Marinate the fish slices with light soy sauce, pepper and corn flour. Set aside in the fridge.
  • Once the fishbone stock is ready, strain the soup into a separate pot using a fine mesh sieve. Bring to a boil before adding green papaya chunks and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until softened.
  • Add the fish slices, wolfberries and Shaoxing wine. Turn off the fire when the fish slices are fully cooked. Add salt to taste and serve warm.
Green papaya fish soup to boost milk supply

Frequently Asked Questions:

When should I start consuming green papaya fish soup?

It is generally safe to start consuming this nutritious dish as early as the first day after giving birth.

How long should I consume green papaya fish soup for?

It can be consumed regularly by any individual as part of a balanced diet, not only by breastfeeding mothers but by anyone seeking its nutritional benefits.

Can children or other adults consume green papaya fish soup?

This nourishing dish can be enjoyed by children and adults alike, boosting their immunity and vital energy. If you have concerns about fish bones, cook the fish bones in a cotton soup bag for easier removal before serving.

Who should refrain from consuming green papaya fish soup?

Individuals with papain or latex allergies.

Can I use ripe papaya instead?

While this soup is traditionally made with unripe papaya, you may make a variation with a ripe papaya. When using a ripe papaya, it is recommended to simmer the soup for a shorter period to prevent the fruit chunks from becoming too soft and disintegrating into the soup.

Get started

Incorporating green papaya soup into your diet can be a nourishing choice for breastfeeding wellness. With its potential benefits for lactation, digestion and immune support, this soup offers a flavorful and nutritious addition to your postpartum journey. Give it a try and join our community on Instagram or Facebook for more wellness tips and sharing.

The information above serves as a general guide only. Please consult a certified TCM practitioner for a more accurate diagnosis and treatment. 

[1] World Health Organisation. (n.d.). Exclusive breastfeeding for six months best for babies everywhere. World Health Organisation. Retrieved July 11, 2023, from Exclusive Breastfeeding For Six Months Best For Babies Everywhere.

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