A female police officer has been praised after an image of her breastfeeding a neglected baby went viral.
The baby was seriously malnourished when the Argentinian officer arrived at the Sister Maria Ludovica Children’s Hospital in Buenos Aires, following reports that the child’s mother was struggling to look after him.
Spotting that staff were overworked, police officer Celeste Ayala asked if she could help hold and then breastfeed the baby, who was described by staff as being “smelly and dirty.”
A colleague uploaded an image of the touching moment to social media last Tuesday and the picture has since gone viral, clocking up more than 111,000 shares and 154,000 reactions.
The caption accompanying the picture, translated form Spanish read: “I want to make public this great gesture of love that you had today with that little baby, who without knowing, you didn’t hesitate and for a moment you fulfilled how you don’t care about filth and smell like professional lords of the hospital manifest. Things like that don’t happen every day.”
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Speaking about her actions to local media Celeste explained: “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.”
The local fire department, who Celeste also volunteers for, released a statement praising her actions.
“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.”
And the internet was also quick to show their support for the caring officer.
“Congratulations a great gesture they don’t teach you anywhere,” one woman wrote on Facebook in Spanish and translated to English.
“Beautiful gesture, congratulations,” agreed another.