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Following the Hygiene hypothesis, newborns in sterile environments would develop a weaker immune system and be more likely to develop allergies.

To some extent the immune system can be made to be effective against specific diseases through vaccines, but it is my impression that to simulate the amount that babies go through in their early years, you would need a large amount of vaccines, and missions might not be able to afford the added extra weight.

What medical considerations are taken in regards to potential newborn babies in space?

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  • $\begingroup$ Why do you think "space outposts are designed to be as sterile as possible"? Apart from the microbiome of the human occupants, long term habitation will likely require things like agriculture, production of food and useful chemicals with fermentation processes, processing of organic refuse via composting, etc. At best, only specific areas will see a special effort to maintain sterility. $\endgroup$ Jan 28 at 15:40

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Nothing is sterile around Humans. Humans are messy. Always! And the Hygiene Hypothesis is quite weakly supported by the data available. What IS supported by data is that microgravity is negatively affecting our immune system and and so is space radiation as well.

So no, there is not much consideration done in that field, especially because we need to solve many more pressing matters first before this could even become an issue. For one, we need to get humans to those places and back alive. Than we need to find ways to keep them alive there. Than we need to make living there more or less self sustaining. That's all before we should even think about colonising other planets... So there is plenty of more pressing stuff to care for before caring for something that might not even be a problem at all.

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