Breastfeeding and Birthing Art: An Interview with Painter Lauren Turner

New York Milk Bank: Your paintings are so colorful and upbeat. They depict women at a 
moment of extreme strength and vulnerability. What is your motivation? 
Lauren Turner: My motivation came from being a mother and 
birth worker. The connection between body and baby is special and 
important. Lactation inspires. Creating art from lactation inspires 
everyone and helps normalize it.
NYMB: How do you find time to paint and also care for your children? Do you
take commissions? 
LT: It’s hard to find time for painting. I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old. They 
constantly need my attention and help. My work station is set up in my 
living room. I think that’s the magic! Being able to work in this 
space makes it easy to step back and help with the potty time.
My work is based off of authentic moments. It’s important for the 
moment to be captured because the story is apart of the art. 
Commissions help me connect with people and possibly share there story 
if they feel compelled.
NYMB: You share so openly about your past on social media. What do you hope 
others get from hearing your story? Your paintings?
LT: It’s important for me to be authentic as possible. Everyone has good 
and bad days. Not everyone is as perfect as their photos. I think it 
helps to create a healthy space. I hope to inspire other artists to 
celebrate their journey through art! It’s important to see yourself 
within the person. The lows are just as important as the highs!
NYMB: Who are/were the women in your life that modeled motherhood for you? 
What kind of support do/did you have for breastfeeding?
LT: I saw no one breastfeeding. The only person who supported me was my 
husband and a few close friends. I learned about breastfeeding through 
my midwife. During my home birth experience she taught me to believe 
in my body. It so happened that believing in my body helped the 
connection to lactation. Having her was like having someone who 
was in my corner when everyone thought I was crazy!
Later, I joined lactation based groups. It felt good to connect with 
other moms and get out the house. My goal started to change from being 
supported to wanting to support. I was so inspired that I became a 
NYMB: If you could share a few important things you’ve learned about birth 
and breastfeeding, what would they be and why?
LT: Celebrate every moment of lactation if you can. Document your journey.
Reach out for support. Join a community and if it doesn’t feel right make a community.
Make a postpartum plan! Let people know that you need them. Get a 
doula if you have funds. If you don’t, reach out and ask.
Research! Find out how your partner can support you.
Breastfeeding can strain relationships. Be honest and understand that partners can have 
postpartum depression (YES even men).
Love on yourself. Speak affirmations to yourself.
You are not a milk machine. Your feelings are valid.