The co-founders of Riverina Bloss group say the federal government's decision to extend parental leave in cases stillbirth and infant death will help grieving Wagga families.
Megan Gaffney and Anna McRorie, two of the four co-founders of Riverina Pregnancy and Baby Loss Support, said having up to 12 months of unpaid leave would take away one source of stress for those faced with tragedy.
Mrs Gaffney's daughter Ruby Louise was stillborn in 2010 and Ms McRorie's daughter Dakota was stillborn in 2015.
"It will allow families to have that time. There's so much that comes with having a stillborn baby the funeral an all that stuff and just having to process it," Mrs Gaffney said.
"Having the option of extra leave allows them to go back to work when they want to and when it is right for them.
"You don't even think about work, you're just thinking about how to rebuild your life and trying to find what your new normal is and that extra time is time for grief."
"In the previous leave of six weeks, the shock probably hasn't worn off let along going back to work. You aren't functional," Ms McRorie said.
Mrs Gaffney said Bloss estimated that 20 families per year were affected by late-term pregnancy losses.
NSW Health recorded eight stillbirths in Wagga in 2018 and one neonatal death.
Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter, said the new parental leave entitlements would help support families dealing with traumatic situations such as stillbirths, infant deaths and premature births.
"The government understands how devastating losing a child can be and recognises that the current entitlement to just six weeks of guaranteed unpaid parental leave is insufficient for many parents who need more time before they return to work,"
"That is why we want to increase the entitlement for those who've experienced a stillbirth or infant death to a maximum of 12 months - the same amount of unpaid leave parents of healthy babies can access.
"While not all parents will want to use the full 12-months, it is important that the option is available to them should they need it."
The government will also make changes to leave for parents with premature babies, or babies that experience birth-related complications and immediate hospitalisation.
NSW Health recorded a total of 115 premature babies born at Wagga Base and Calvary hospitals in 2018.
"Parents have told us how frustrated they felt by having to use up large amounts of their leave while their little one was in hospital, instead of being able to put it on hold until they needed it," Mr Porter said.
"These changes will give parents that flexibility and ensure they will get to spend quality time at home with their child when they leave hospital."
Opposition industrial relations spokesman Tony Burke said Labor welcomed the announcement of changes but called on the government change further legislation to make the policy consistent across all employers.
"These changes mean parents who devastatingly lose a child due to stillbirth or infant death will be entitled to a maximum of 12 months unpaid leave," he said.
"The bipartisan Senate Stillbirth Inquiry recommended changes to both the Fair Work Act and the National Employment Standards to provide consistency across all employers and employees in Australia.
"Labor looks forward to the Government making these amendments."
Mr Burke also called on the government to make families of stillborn babies eligible for bereavement payments.
"Stillbirth is the biggest cause of infant death in our country today and the rate of death from stillbirth is higher than the national road toll," he said.
"We must do everything to support families through the devastation of such heartbreak."
Legislation to enact the changes to unpaid parental leave will be consulted on in the coming weeks ahead of its expected introduction to Parliament in the autumn sitting period.