The effects of acute loss of maternal blood on embryonic and placental development was examined in 50 rats on Days 8 or 9 of gestation. Blood was withdrawn from conscious, cannulated rats over a 1-min period at 1-0 or 2-0 ml/100 g body weight. These degrees of blood loss were expected to produce a mild (about 50%) and severe (about 80%) reduction in uterine blood flow, respectively, for at least 15 min. There was no evidence that loss of blood affected either fetal survival and malformation rates or fetal weights and sex ratios. The anaemia resulting from haemorrhage lasted no longer than 6 days. Placental weights were 11% higher in rats losing 2-0 ml blood/100 g than in controls (P less than 0-05). It appears that the 8- or 9- day rat embryo is highly resistant to the partial reduction in uterine blood flow, maternal anaemia and other possible challenges induced by maternal loss of blood at levels sufficient to affect the mothers.