New visitors at Rosie’s Tavern would never know the careful choreography behind their bartender's break schedule.
"It's not like I'm taking a 20-minute smoke break," Dawn Catacchio, 36, joked while tending bar on a recent Tuesday afternoon.
Catacchio actually carefully schedules her breaks so she can slip into the storage closet for much-needed "BR," or breast relief.
"You have to have a sense of humor about it," she said.
Owner Julie Brown said that although she has no kids of her own, it was a "no-brainer" to ensure Catacchio, a first-time mother, had a private, quiet place to use a breast pump to nurse when she returned from maternity leave.
"It just happened so naturally," Brown explained. "It was just a no-brainer. When you got a good employee, you want to keep ‘em. ... I don’t get the whole thing, but I understand it's needed."
Catacchio said she usually feeds Jaycee every three hours. If she's not able to pump on schedule, her "supply would decrease" and she wouldn't be able to breast feed for the minimum six months recommended by the American Pediatric Association, she explained. She'd also be in pain, and possibly leak.
So, Brown helped clear out a cluttered utility closet — the only private space with an outlet for Catacchio's electric breast pump, and fellow bartender Jen Cybulski, offered to relieve Catacchio's seven-hour shifts so she could pump.
With a support from the Rosie's sisterhood, Catacchio is able to slip into the closet, where she has just enough room squeeze next to shelves filled with random merchandise, cleaning supplies, beer taps and various equipment to take care of her motherly duty.
"I don’t really tell the customers where I’m going," Catacchio said.
Sometimes she has to smell a piece of Jaycee's clothing, listen to to the sound of her crying, or Facetime with her infant daughter, alongside her husband Justin, to help stimulate milk flow, she said.
Catacchio, a two-year employee, returned to bartending just five weeks after giving birth to daughter Jaycee on Sept. 25 in order to get some income rolling back into the household. She had been out of work a month longer than unexpected because her doctor put her on bed rest when she started having early contractions.
"Like they say, it takes a village to raise a baby," Brown said.
Catacchio said ideally, she'd love to continue breast feeding Jaycee for her whole first year.
"I don’t know if I can keep that up," she admitted. So, "probably six months. I’ll be happy with that."
"You don’t know what the future holds," Brown replied.