Zidovudine (ZDV) has been the cornerstone of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy for pregnant women infected with HIV-1 in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) and remains the only licensed ARV for use in pregnancy. We explored the current and future roles of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) in the prevention of MTCT of HIV-1. We reviewed the published literature by conducting database searches of in vitro, animal and clinical studies, reported in journals and at conferences, using the search terms Tenofovir/gs4331/viread, pregnant/pregnancy, lactate, lactation, natal, reproduce/reproduction, placenta/placental, malformation, and teratogenicity/teratogenic. In a macaque model, perinatal exposure to very high dose tenofovir resulted in bone toxicity in some offspring. However, perinatal use of TDF, both single dose and as part of highly active antiretroviral therapy in women, has been well tolerated in the short term by mothers and their infants. Further, the addition of single-dose TDF to single-dose nevirapine (SD-NVP) during delivery following maternal ZDV use during pregnancy significantly reduces the frequency of nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) resistance. The addition of TDF to SD-NVP reduces NNRTI resistance. The role of TDF in this setting and during pregnancy for reducing rates of MTCT requires investigation. While short-term toxicity data are encouraging, long-term follow-up of exposed mothers and infants is required.