The absorption of amoxycillin from the gastro-intestinal tract, with or without oral metoclopramide, has been evaluated. Levels of amoxycillin in the maternal blood and liquor prior to the induction of labour were of a therapeutic level against many organisms. However, absorption during labour, as reflected by maternal blood levels at delivery and cord blood levels, suggests that amoxycillin is poorly absorbed and may not reach adequate therapeutic levels in the fetus. Oral metoclopramide did not improve the absorption of amoxycillin. Should a parenteral form of amoxycillin become available, a similar study of blood and liquor levels may indicate that, like ampicillin, intramuscular administration is required for adequate therapeutic use at this stage of pregnancy. Until an oral formulation of an appropriate antibiotic is available which gives rapid absorption may and a sustained level of the chemotherapeutic agent in this situation, parenteral administration of an appropriate antibiotic remains mandatory.