According to a new study featured on TIME, mothers may play a greater role in protecting their kids from allergies than you think.

Dr. Jay Lieberman from the University of Tennessee surveyed 192 women between ages 18 and 48 and found that mothers who received allergy shots or "immunotherapy" during pregnancy may lower their child's risk of developing asthma, eczema, and food allergies by 16 percent.

Previous studies have shown that mothers pass antibodies on to their unborn children, leading researchers to believe that immunotherapy may boost this link and help protect more children against common irritants that could cause other diseases and complications.

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

Before taking allergy shots, or any medication for that matter, however, it is best for pregnant women to first consult their doctors.

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(Photo by Jeremy via Flickr Creative Commons)

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