Celeste Ayala, the Argentine police officer who breastfed a malnourished baby last week, just got offered a promotion.
The moment the officer discovered the crying infant who had been separated from her parents at Sor María Ludovica children's hospital, she knew what she had to do to calm the distressed baby.
As a mother of a 16-month-old daughter, Ayala's maternal instincts kicked in and she wanted to hold and breastfeed the neglected child. The hospital offered their consent.
Her colleague, Marcos Heredia photographed the "great gesture of love" and posted the image of the officer feeding the baby on Facebook where it was shared over 113 thousand times.
After the post went viral, Ayala was promoted from officer to sergeant. Cristian Ritondo, the security minister of Buenos Aires province, tweeted his praise.
"We wanted to thank [her] in person for that gesture of spontaneous love that managed to calm the baby's cry."
Ritondo later added that Ayala is a prime example of "the police we're proud of, the police we want."
@pen_jones An absolute #hero!— Bruce Roberts (@Bruce Roberts)1534943665.0
@delphiegray1 Now that's a bad-a** mother coming to the rescue of distressed baby, and doing that which was needed.… https://t.co/Pez792hRKg— wispdrone (@wispdrone)1534853868.0
The officer told local news media about her heroic effort.
I" noticed that he was hungry, as he was putting his hand into his mouth, so I asked to hug him and breastfeed him."
"It was a sad moment, it broke my soul seeing him like this, society should be sensitive to the issues affecting children, it cannot keep happening."
To all the breastfeeding in public naysayers, check out the kindness of this police officer. Celeste Ayala saw that… https://t.co/Ir9GHpRLup— Delphie Gray (@Delphie Gray)1534668183.0
According to the Independent, the child and his siblings had been separated from their parents, who were reportedly in poor health and not able to properly care for their children.
What unites, Celeste Ayala of #ArgentinaPolice & Constable Archana of @BlrCityPolice in common is their milk of hum… https://t.co/S29Xg7Qn7g— RAHUL SRIVASTAV (@RAHUL SRIVASTAV)1534683577.0
People can't stop talking about Ayala's beautiful act of kindness.
In a messed up world, here's a simple act of love and generosity. Celeste Ayala as a mother I salute you ❤️ https://t.co/FLUEfmWoQ9— Penny Jones (@Penny Jones)1534555219.0
@delphiegray1 God Bless you!!! for your kindness as a Mother!! I am In happy tears over this!!— myvoice (@myvoice)1534796365.0
@delphiegray1 She is a gift from God and a blessing to that child,,, Thank you officer,,, you are a hero and I woul… https://t.co/FHWlAIfcUh— Cyndi Eberle-Waite (@Cyndi Eberle-Waite)1534804176.0
@delphiegray1 That is beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes.... you are blessed..— Sassyscreations3 (@Sassyscreations3)1534942467.0
@delphiegray1 Police officer does the right thing, saving an infant who was in need! Excellent job, officer!!!— Steve Fobert (@Steve Fobert)1534854446.0
@HuffPost Wow...what a remarkable woman. I love this...— Elizabeth Vargas (@Elizabeth Vargas)1534822799.0
@HuffPost With love from Iran 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹💐😘😘😘😘😘😍😍😍😍😍😘😘😘😘😘😘— یعقوب لیث(رادمان پور ماهک) (@یعقوب لیث(رادمان پور ماهک))1534810153.0
@HuffPost Thank you, God, for having brought these beautiful souls together. Congratulations on the Promotions, Se… https://t.co/kvpfk3qGYl— BLAG (@BLAG)1534857890.0
In his Facebook post, Heredia praised his friend for tending to the baby hospital staff dismissed as "dirty."
"I want to make public this great gesture of love you made today for this little baby who you did not know, but for who you did not hesitate to act like a mother."
"You did not care if he was dirty or smelly, which is what the hospital staff called him. Good job mate."
The fire department where Ayala also volunteers issued this statement:
"We want to congratulate the voluntary firefighting cadet Celeste Ayala who yesterday in her job as police officer whilst she was on guard duty at the Hospital, breastfed a young child who arrived crying.
Actions like these fill us with pride and obligate us to redouble the effort, the work and the solidarity with our community."