Football Australia has no formal maternity policy in place for the Matildas - almost two years after it announced its last collective bargaining agreement promising protections - and neither does the A-League Women's.
It's understood an ALW maternity policy is close to being finalised by the APL, but FA is yet to finalise one for the national team.
Currently ALW clubs are not required to cover maternity costs as players return to play, and one player is going to spend about 75 per cent of their wage on babysitting and travel costs.
That player is Matildas midfielder Katrina Gorry, who is due to make her return for Brisbane Roar some 16 weeks after giving birth to her daughter Harper.
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If everything goes to plan - physically, fitness wise and Harper continues her sleep routine - Gorry is looking forward to getting back on the ALW pitch by round three.
But about three quarters of her Roar wage will be spent on hiring a nanny to travel with the team and look after her daughter during training.
"Usually a couple of days a week I'll have a nanny. And a couple of days mum will come to training and look after her," she said.
"It's going to be pretty hard for me this season. It obviously does take a toll, but for me to get back, it's worth it at the moment, but I definitely think it needs to change.
"I'm just really lucky to have the family support that I have, because doing it on your own, it is a fair bit harder to not have a partner there to help me through that.
"[The team's] been really welcoming with the situation ... and it's so nice to know that I have that support there with the girls. I think they're all pretty excited to have a little mascot on the sidelines and to get cuddles whenever they want. It does bring a whole new kind of thing into the environment [but] I think it brings a lot of happiness as well."
In the Super Netball several players have given birth and returned to the court, in part due to its 2017 parental care policy.
Netballers are offered 100 per cent income protection, babysitters during work commitments, and an allowance for a carer and children under the age of one (or still being breastfed) for away games.
A new CBA for the ALW was signed last month, setting out key terms to build a policy, but no formal policy was ever developed by FA before it handed over the league to APL in December 2020.
Formal ALW policy discussions are underway with APL, and it's understood the Professional Footballers Australia union wants similar conditions to Super Netball.
Before Gorry's Roar signing, Melbourne City goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri and former Matilda Heather Garriock were two of the only players to give birth and return to the top league.
Garriock's case again Football Federation Australia, now FA, brought to light the shortfalls in Matildas contracts back in 2016.
In 2019 the national team's CBA agreed to increase its support for Matildas during pregnancy and returning to play, but no formal policy has been developed yet.
Despite this, Gorry still receives FA support under her national contract, but questions over the finer details - travel and babysitting costs - will become murkier without a policy in place.
For now the 29-year-old is focused on Harper, Roar and making it back into the green and gold in time for the 2023 World Cup.
"Without them [Barbieri/Garriock] paving the way and going through their struggles. I probably wouldn't have the support I do now," she said.
"FA have been pretty supportive of the situation, and hope that I'll return to the national team. So I feel pretty grateful to be kind of the first one to hopefully do that.
"It's happening more and more now in different codes, and federations and clubs are going to have to be more supportive of the situation. Now that we don't have to retire to have a family, we can have a family and return to sport, and I think it's pretty amazing to see so many athletes are doing it. I hope that people can see that it is possible."
Former Matildas captain, and PFA co-chief executive, Kathryn Gill confirmed the union had established in-principle agreements for the ALW and Matildas - not policies.
"Katrina's return to the A-League Women's competition is incredibly exciting and her ambition to play for the Matildas ahead of the FIFA 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia is inspiring," she said.
"To ensure her reintegration into professional football, it's incumbent on the sport to provide a safe and inclusive working environment and ensure she feels supported as a parent and as a footballer to pursue her goals and reach her potential.
"It's critical that the burden of participating in the sport does not lie solely with the player and any policy developed or contract arrangement does not discourage players from returning to their profession."
Players shouldn't have to choose between playing and starting a family.— Racing Louisville FC (@RacingLouFC) October 26, 2021
We're proud to partner with Kentucky Fertility Institute, which moving forward will provide our team complimentary fertility preservation services: https://t.co/SUdqWscRStpic.twitter.com/Oxavh2GB0u
In the United States one NWSL club - Racing Louisville City FC - is taking it a step further in their maternity support, by partnering with a fertility clinic.
The club partnered with the Kentucky Fertility Institute, in a league first, to include free fertility preservation services for players such as egg freezing, embryo freezing and long-term storage.
Gorry conceived Harper via IVF. Also having played in the NWSL herself for said it was amazing to see a club taking the next step.
"I know firsthand that fertility stuff costs an arm and a leg ... so to have an organisation on board with a club team, I think, is pretty special," she said.
"And it just goes to show that how supportive they are of mums. They've showed that after having a baby, you can come back better, bigger and better from the pregnancy journey and from carrying a baby.
"It's definitely something that Australia needs to strive towards because it is changing across the world, and hopefully we can match it with the American leagues in support of that."