Police officer praised for breastfeeding malnourished baby while on duty at hospital

A police officer in Argentina is being praised on social media after photos of her breastfeeding a malnourished baby went viral.

Officer Celeste Jaqueline Ayala was working guard duty at the Sor Maria Ludovica children’s hospital in Buenos Aires when a neglected baby was brought in.

A photo of a police officer breastfeeding a malnourished child has gone viral on social media

A photo of a police officer breastfeeding a malnourished child has gone viral on social media (Courtesy of Marcos Heredia via Facebook)

Ayala immediately asked to hold the baby, who hospital staff said was “smelly and dirty,” and began to nurse him, Mirror reported.

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Witness Marcos Heredia took a photo of the compassionate act and posted it on Facebook, where it amassed over 154K likes.

“I want to make public this great gesture of love that you had today with that little baby,” read Heredia’s post, loosely translated from Spanish. “Who without knowing you didn’t hesitate and for a moment you fulfilled how if you were her mother. You don’t care about filth and smell … things like that don’t [happen] every day.”

Ayala said she did not think twice about helping the baby in need.

"I noticed that he was hungry, as he was putting his hand into his mouth, so I asked to hug him and breastfeed him,” she said to Cronica. "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."

Now, Ayala’s kind-hearted move has prompted tons of praise on social media and a Twitter campaign using her name as a hashtag.

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The Bomberos Voluntarios Berisso fire brigade where Ayala volunteers paid their own tribute to the selfless woman.

"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,” the brigade wrote, the Mirror reported.

According to the Mirror, the baby was the youngest of six brought in by a struggling single mother.