Artemis’ Milk Depot opens at Owatonna Hospital

For more information, contact: Tim Burke, 651-409-3030

OWATONNA, Minn. 11/8/2018  Owatonna Hospital is excited to announce that Artemis’ Milk Depot is now open. A local place to drop off your breast milk, Artemis’ Milk Depot is conveniently located at Owatonna Hospital in the Community Resource Room.

Second only to mother’s own breast milk, donated milk is a wonderful way for babies to receive the best nutrition. Donor milk is often used as a bridge to help nourish premature babies until a birth mother’s milk comes in.

“I would hear stories of moms that don’t have a large milk supply, and I wanted to help,” says Katy Riffe, a breast milk donor. “I knew there were babies in the neonatal intensive care unit that it would help tremendously, and I was happy that I could help ease some of the families’ worry and concern.”

Locally-donated milk is safely processed, screened and pasteurized for premature sick infants.

“I had an oversupply of milk and instead of disposing of the extra milk, I wanted to donate,” says Riffe. “I donated over 3,000 ounces with my first son.”

After Riffe’s second son Artemis passed away unexpectedly, she still felt a strong need to help. “It was hard; this was supposed to go to my baby,” says Riffe. “I was happy that I had a blessing to give to other babies.”

Riffe donated more than 9,000 ounces of breast milk for nine months after her son Artemis was born.

As Riffe puts it, “my milk moms counted on me.” She continued to pump for three months after her son passed away until the infant she was donating milk to turned 1-years-old.

“I felt very strongly about breastfeeding,” says Riffe. “It’s really the best thing for our babies, as it has everything they need with no additives. It helps build their immunities and reduces the risk of allergies.”

For various reasons, a mother may not be able to produce breast milk for her baby. Milk banks make it possible for babies to get breast milk. Sometimes, however, the barrier is getting your breast milk to a milk bank.

“It was tough,” says Riffe. “The closest place to drop off milk was more than 50 miles north.”
Artemis’ Milk Depot is conveniently located in southern Minnesota. Your milk will be safely and securely stored in the depot’s freezer, and we will take care of shipping your milk to the Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes.

Artemis’ Milk Depot is located at Owatonna Hospital, 2250 NW 26th Street in Owatonna.

To utilize Artemis’ Milk Depot as a drop-off location, please register to become a breast milk donor.

To learn more about Artemis’ Milk Depot and how to become a breast milk donor, visit allinahealth.org/owamilkdepot or call the Birth Center at 507-977-2455.

About Allina Health

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 11 hospitals, 15 retail pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, home oxygen and medical equipment and emergency medical transportation services.

Katy Melissa and Lori grand opening
Artemis’ Milk Depot celebrated its grand opening on Monday, Nov. 5. The freezer was graciously donated by Minnesota Women of Today. (Featured from left to right): Melissa Beneke, RN, Owatonna Hospital Birth Center; Katy Riffe, breast milk donor and Artemis’ mother; and Lori Wencl, RN, Owatonna Hospital Birth Center.