Argentine police officer promoted after breastfeeding neglected baby

A photo of the policewoman feeding the baby boy while in uniform went viral.

cop breastfeeds baby
Celeste Ayala, an Argentinian police officer, breast feeding a neglected baby in a photo that was widely shared on social media. –Marcos Heredia

A policewoman in Argentina has been promoted after a photo of her breastfeeding a neglected baby at a hospital while in uniform went viral.

The officer, Celeste Ayala, was among a team of officers who took six siblings into state custody in La Plata, a municipality near Buenos Aires, on Aug. 14, because they were in dismal condition at home.

The youngest, who was about seven months old, was crying furiously. Ayala, who is breastfeeding a daughter who is 16 months old, said she sought permission from hospital staff to breastfeed the baby.

“I didn’t doubt it for a second,” she told the Argentine television show “Cronica.” “So I pulled out my breast and he became calm.”

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Marcos Heredia, a colleague, posted a photo of Ayala breastfeeding the boy on Facebook.

“I want to make public this great gesture of love you had with this baby, whom you treated like a mother without a second thought, even though you didn’t know him,” Heredia wrote.

The post went viral, turning the small act of kindness into national news.

Cristian Ritondo, the minister of security for the province of Buenos Aires, met with Ayala last week to inform her that she was being promoted to sergeant.

“We wanted to thank her in person for that spontaneous gesture of love that managed to quiet the baby’s crying,” he said on Twitter. “This is the police force we are proud of, the police force we want.”