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Pregnant AFLW players given choice to opt out

The AFL has released a new pregnancy and parental management travel policy for AFLW players - AFLW
The AFL has released a new pregnancy and parental management travel policy for AFLW players

PREGNANT AFLW players will be given the right to decide whether or not they continue to participate in the competition, under the League's new pregnancy and parental management travel policy. 

The policy, which was circulated to clubs on Friday, states that pregnant players must inform their club's medical officer as soon as they find out they are expecting. 

However, they do not have to disclose their pregnancy to other club officials until after the first trimester.

Players who elect to continue playing during their pregnancy are expected to maintain appropriate levels of fitness and performance.

Expectant mothers who decide not to play, or are not cleared fit to play, will receive full payment from their club during the term of their contract. 

AFL General Manager of Football Operations Steve Hocking said the policy provided all AFLW players with a clear understanding of their obligations and the support provided. 

"As a competition and industry, we will ensure we respect the rights of AFLW players who are parents, or planning to become parents, and deliver on our commitment to providing the necessary support to assist them to participate safely in the national competition," Hocking said.

"This policy provides a clear understanding of the support provided, giving our current and future players confidence that the NAB AFL Women’s competition and its clubs will give them every opportunity to succeed at the highest level." 

Players who are breastfeeding will also be allowed to travel to interstate matches with their baby and partner or support person, with the clubs to pay for the extra flights and accommodation.

AFLW clubs have also agreed to provide suitable facilities at training to allow players to breastfeed or express milk.