Nightly News   |  December 23, 2013

Study: Pregnant women don’t have to avoid nuts

A new study says pregnant women eating nuts will not increase the odds of their children getting allergies. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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>> go we are back tonight with news about food allergies , and a new study that may put a lot of parents' minds at ease. as you may know all too well, peanut allergies among children have more than tripled in the last 15 years. and a lot of women have wondered if they have any control over that while pregnant. our report tonight from nbc's katy tur.

>> reporter: a little nut causing a lot of worry. the peanut. whether to eat it or avoid it, has been the subject of much debate among pregnant women over the past few years. mom-to-be sterling doneally has been eating nuts her whole pregnancy, and today she's feeling a little relieved.

>> i think being exposed to stuff while you're pregnant can maybe be a good thing.

>> reporter: despite old recommendations a new study released by the journal of the american medical association found that eating peanuts and other tree nuts will not raise the baby's allergy risk. co-author dr. michael young .

>> if you're pregnant and you do wish to consume nuts, our data indicates that it will be safe to do so, and it wouldn't lead to any increased risk of a nut allergic baby.

>> reporter: in fact according to the study done among nonallergic pregnant women those who eat nuts five times a week or more are 31% less likely to see allergies in their children than mothers who eat nuts less than once a month. the authors did not go as far as saying eating nuts prevents a food allergy . but new york ob/gyn dr. jennifer wu welcomes any new insight.

>> mothers are very concerned about the foods that they eat during pregnancy, and what it will mean for the child later on. i think peanut allergies are on the rise, and i wish that we knew the exact source of them. we don't. but anything that we can do to help decrease the incidence is a good thing.

>> reporter: as for sterling, with only weeks to go before her little girl arrives, she's trying to rely more and more on that developing motherly instinct.

>> i try to go with my gut, yeah. more and more trusting that. use your best judgment.

>> reporter: katy tur, nbc news, new