Don't Retract Pack

Lactating Fountains

Why did my husband give me a funny look today when I said I'd like to hold out for a breastfeeding fountain instead of the standard ol' boring selection they have at the garden center?!

I'd take one of these 16th century Giambologna lactating mermaids in a second!

Are there others out there? Any nursing mother fountains? Anyone create custom fountains? There must be...

The Neptune Fountain (Fontana di Nettuno) is one of Bologna, Italy's most famous landmarks. It is located in Piazza del Nettuna, next to Piazza Maggiore. I have to admit, I am much more enamored with Italy's version than the Neptune Statue here in Virgina Beach. ;)


This is too much fun ~ while I've long been (secretly?) desiring to place a breastfeeding fountain in my own garden, I had no idea there actually are so many fine ones out there! I believe I'll be adding a few more stops to my lactivist pilgrimage around the world...

Our Lady of Perpetual Lactation in Antigua, Guatemala's Central Park

The Ephesus goddess of fertility, Artemis (sometimes called 'Diana') in Tivoli, Italy. Artemis was often pictured as draped with eggs and/or multiple breasts (as seen here) from her waist to her shoulders. What a positive and empowering way to view the human breast!

Artemis' fountain was built in the 1500s by Cardinal Ippolito d'Este, son of Lucretia Borgia. Diana's Fountain once stood at a central location in the gardens of Villa d'Este. She eventually became viewed as 'too pagan' and was relocated to a more hidden spot in the garden.

The Fountain of Women at Il Giardino dei Tarocchi in Tuscany, Italy, was inspired by Diana's Fountain and created by Niki de Sainte Phalle (1930-2002). This lactating fountain (above) was first viewed by the public in 1998, just 4 years prior to Niki's passing at 72 years of age.

Andrea's Fountain, sometimes referred to as 'The Mermaid Fountain,' was designed by sculptor Ruth Asawa and landscape architect Lawrence Halprin. In March 1968, Andrea's Fountain was installed at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, California.


  1. That is the COOLEST thing EVER. I WANT one. I wonder if they'd allow me to have one here in Navy Housing....*ponders*

  2. Did you see my slide show and the crowds reaction when the fountain came up. Check it out:

    I am glad that you found more pictures of it!! Thanks for sharing!

    I hope you get your fountain.

  3. Found out about this through Cecilia Mitchell Miller (mutual friend on FB).....

    Andrea's Fountain in Ghiradelli Square in San Fransisco.


    1. love this fountain:) and to think it has been there since I was 5 years old:)
      and what woman doesn't love the name Ghirardelli square? I think you
      HAVE to eat dark chocolate there, while admiring the mermaid & baby art

  4. these are wonderful I want one too

  5. I totally saw the Neptune fountain when I was in Bologna, age sixteen, and nobody warned us. Etched in my mind, it is!

    The only thing is that nobody sprays milk through the air into the baby's mouth; so are these uncontrollably spraying moms recently postpartum?

  6. I just finished a course on The Mother Goddess in Art and we learned about Artemis. I love the statue of her with many breasts. Funny thing is... I don't think she had children (in mythology) but she was still the goddess of fertility.

  7. I love the fountains.
    Some mums do have an amazingly forceful let down.
    A friend of mine could spray milk accross the room at her (breastfed) toddler while he played hide and seek. Some mums have a lot of pressure built up in there!

  8. I once leaned over the sink doing dishes postpartum and, accidentally pressing my breast against the counter, sprayed milk all the way across the kitchen! I was shocked, but also amused and slightly proud they had this much FORCE! :)

  9. Chris, I regularly spray milk through the air into my 1 yo daughter's mouth...maybe not to feed but we both find it very funny to do when she pulls off just as let down makes an arc too :-)

  10. Awesome! I want one of those!

  11. As a Mama who breastfed 3 children for 9 hears total in the 70's and 80's, I have to say that I am now on the search team for breastfeeding fountains! You are inspired and I applaude you for your curiosity and great mothering wisdom. Cheers!

  12. I love the final one. Beautiful. I saw a lactating fountain in Norway recently too - can't recal where now. Love it though

  13. @Chris I am seven months post-partum but I still squirt milk into my unsuspecting baby's face some times! It's great for her skin though, so I don't mind!

  14. I must say, I think they look weird, BUT I tend to think most fountains with water spouting out of people's orifices look weird. :-) I certainly never got my milk to spout that far! These fountains do give me hope for our society though -- not everyone in the world thinks lactation is disgusting, so there's hope for us Americans yet! I love the mermaid statue.

  15. Those fountains are so pretty :) If I had a real garden (or patio - I could put one on a patio... alas, I have neither - anyway) I would so want something similar.
    Thanks for sharing them!

  16. I LOVE them. I'm a sculptor and made a breastfeeding sculpture
    and a female Watergiver Fountain
    I'm 59 now but I obviously have fond memories of breastfeeding my son for almost 3 years.
    Thanks for posting them!

  17. Oh I have been known to squirt milk at my daughter too exp if I am trying to have a bath and she gets in with me only after a feed (she is 3) it is a playful way of saying get off ;-)

    Just love the last to the coloured one and the mermaid for some reason the others look sad and Breastfeeding is always happy for me.

  18. Love these. I have personally seen (and photographed) the Neptune Fountain in Bologna. Awesome!

  19. great collection. thanks for sharing

  20. Thanks for posting! I was searching for where this statue was located and your page gave me the info. I gave you the credit, of course. Here is my post with the lovely state...