Three days after National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, the Waterloo City Council on Oct. 18 unanimously passed a resolution that establishes a paid bereavement policy for loss of pregnancy.

Introduced by council member Jonathan Grieder, the policy would eventually cover all Waterloo city employees who are affected by miscarriages and stillbirths.

“This is an issue that’s personal to me and is personal to a lot of families in the Cedar Valley,” Grieder said. “I want us to lay down a marker that we as a city, as an employer, care about our employees in their darkest days. … I want to make sure we are taking care of those who need support.”

Council members Sharon Juon and Margaret Klein mentioned concerns about the specific language in the resolution. Klein said that despite it being “a little flawed,” she would vote to pass it because of her own experience with miscarriage.

“My seventh pregnancy was a set of twins. Only my little boy made it,” Klein said. “No one paid attention to that sort of thing back then. You were supposed to be happy that you had one. … I’m going to vote for that child.”

Between 10% and 15% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. Yet there is no federal requirement to provide paid time off after pregnancy loss.

Earlier this year, New Zealand passed legislation that grants up to three days of bereavement leave to the parent and partner in cases of miscarriage or stillbirth. The U.S. has yet to enact such a law, leaving it to individual companies, organizations and local governments to implement paid leave policies for pregnancy loss.

In a tweet, Grieder wrote, “This policy is among the first in the state and nation. I’m so proud that we unanimously voted to lift up our families in their time of need.”

In September, Kum & Go CEO Tanner Krause announced that the company now covers loss of pregnancy in its bereavement policy. Both parents get five days of paid time off to recover. Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa also offers paid bereavement leave, which includes five days off for a miscarriage.

Grieder said that by passing a resolution publicly rather than just letting the city’s HR department put forth a policy, the council is helping to “erase the stigma by shining the light of policy on it.”

The length of time that families would be eligible to take off under the policy was not included in the resolution text.