Unlike what pregnant women are made to believe, drinking saffron milk regularly won’t make the baby fair. But it is still recommended during pregnancy. Why?

Answering the same, Dr Surabhi Siddhartha, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar said that saffron does not possess any magical properties to improve the baby’s skin tone. “However, it is known to be loaded with antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation and promote overall well-being for both mother and baby, making it a good addition to a woman’s diet,” said Dr Surabhi.

“Skin color is determined by genetic factors, not dietary intake of specific foods during pregnancy,” added Dr Seema Sharma, consultant, obstetrics and gynaecology, Apollo Cradle Children’s Hospital, Moti Nagar, New Delhi.

Childbirth educator Radhika Kalpatharu told indianexpress.com that saffron improves digestion, which weakens during pregnancy As such, having saffron infused in milk or porridge will give you relief from digestive issues including constipation,” said Kalpatharu.

Saffron contains anti-depressant agents that control mood swings and anxiety, mentioned Kalpatharu. “It ensures that the mom — and as an extension, the baby — remains happy,” said Kalpatharu. Dr Surabhi too agreed and shared that saffron is believed to “have mood-enhancing properties which can help relieve stress and anxiety during pregnancy”.

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According to Kalpatharu, saffron also tends to manage blood pressure issues during pregnancy. “Morning sickness is one of the major problems during the first trimester. Having saffron in a moderate amount will ease the feeling and give you relief from nausea,” said Kalpatharu.

As the baby grows in the womb, the mother’s body muscles stretch and adjust the space. ‘During this procedure, the mother can get severe cramps and pain in the back, stomach, and legs. Consuming saffron moderately can give you relief in this painful period,” said Kalpatharu.

Mothers may face anemia during pregnancy. According to Kalpatharu, moms are advised to have iron-rich food and supplements during pregnancy. “Having some amount of saffron daily will ensure you maintain the iron and hemoglobin levels and stay healthy in this beautiful journey,” said Kalpatharu.

The childbirth educator also mentioned that hormonal changes, growing tummy, and breathlessness may make you feel exhausted after getting up in the morning. “If you have saffron milk before going to bed, it will help you have a relaxed good night’s sleep,” said Kalpatharu. Agreeing, Dr Sharma shares that saffron’s “mild sedative effects can contribute to more restful and consistent sleep patterns”.

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Pimples, breakouts, and pigmentation are common issues during this period. “Consuming saffron regularly eliminates skin problems and improves skin tone (not colour),” said Kalpatharu.

Pregnancy may weaken your immune system. According to Kalpatharu, consuming saffron regularly ensures that you are protected from Allergies and infections due to changes in weather and other general infections. “If you consume saffron moderately and with your gynecologist’s advice, it will turn out to be the best thing to have during pregnancy with tremendous benefits for mom and the baby,” said Kalpatharu.

How much to have?

Dr Surabhi mentioned that pregnant women should be cautious about the quantity of saffron to be used daily. “Follow the instructions given by the expert who will guide you regarding the safe amount of it to be had daily. 2-3 stands of saffron can be added to milk. Drinking saffron milk will be a personal choice. Saffron can also induce side effects in pregnant women such as nausea, anxiety, and bleeding nose, so be careful and don’t have it on your own until the expert recommends it to you,” said Dr Surabhi.