The Best Time to Start Allergy Prevention for Baby? In Utero, Says Study

Photo: Veer / The Bump Photo: Veer / The Bump

Sign up for those allergy shots, mom-to-be, because the latest research found that women who received allergy shots (aka immunotherapy) while pregnant lowered their baby’s chance of asthma, eczema and food allergies.

The research, presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), and led by Dr. Jay Lieberman, found that moms-to-be who get their allergy shots during pregnancy reduce their baby’s chances of allergies by up to 16 percent. After meeting with 192 women (aged 18 to 48), Liberman and his team of researchers also noted that another way to reduce allergies in baby was also to breastfeed.

The all-important findings are encouraging for doctors and scientists alike. As it stands, children born to parents with allergies have a 75 percent more chance of developing immune-based reactions. For Lieberman, the findings could not be any clearer: If moms can prevent their kids from getting allergies just by getting their allergy shots while pregnant, health care costs associated with allergy treatments, medication and testing would greatly dissipate. The current findings also support previous research, that proved that mom passes antibodies and other immune cells on to baby as he travels through the birth canal that help him fight off diseases. Scientists now believe that mom could also pass the immunotherapy onto baby in the same way.

In a statement, Lieberman said, “More research is needed to understand if mothers can truly prevent allergies in their children by receiving allergy shots during or before pregnancy. However, these study results show there is a strong association which is very encouraging as allergists to explore this possibility.”

Did you get an allergy shot this year?

Plus, more from The Bump:

Allergy Shots and Pregnancy

Allergies in Babies

Eczema in Babies