Women who receive immunotherapy while pregnant may decrease their baby’s chance of developing allergies later in life, according to study results presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

“Our research found trends suggesting women receiving allergy shots either before or during pregnancy reduced their child’s chances of having asthma, food allergies, or eczema,” said allergist Jay Lieberman, MD, ACAAI member. “Prior studies have suggested that mothers can pass protective factors to their fetus that may decrease their child’s chance of developing allergic disease, and these protective factors are increased with allergy immunotherapy.”

Investigators note that additional research is needed, but believe their findings point to a strong connection between prenatal allergy shots and allergy-free children. According to the study, allergies tend to run in families. If both parents have allergies, their children have a 75% chance of being allergic.

“Allergy shots are not only effective but cost-efficient,” said allergist Warner Carr, MD, chair of the ACAAI Immunotherapy and Diagnostics Committee. “Immunotherapy can result in health care savings of 33 to 41 percent.”