Obstetric medicine as a speciality is yet to be developed in South Africa. South Africa is regarded as a developing country. The burden of HIV and metabolic syndrome creates a need for advanced maternal care. An increase has been noted in hypertension and gestational diabetes due to increasing maternal age and increasing prevalence of obesity. The South African National Committee on Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths’ 2015 Saving Mothers Report identified non-pregnancy-related infections as the leading cause of maternal deaths. Obstetric medicine care includes pre-conception, antepartum and postpartum care. This article aims to highlight the importance of obstetric medicine, even in a resource-poor setting. The current internal medicine and obstetrics and gynaecology training is discussed and emphasis is placed on the opportunity to create an obstetric medicine programme.