The police officer who made headlines last week for breastfeeding a neglected baby has been promoted.
Celeste Ayala was on guard duty at the Sister Maria Ludovica Children’s Hopistal in Buenos Aries, Argentina, when the malnourished baby was brought in.
Celeste realised the hospital staff were overloaded with work and unable to give the crying baby the attention the infant needed, so the kind-hearted woman stepped in and asked if she could hold and breastfeed him.
The child calmed down as soon as Celeste started to feed him.
News of Celeste’s actions quickly spread after her colleague, Marcos Heredia, posted a picture of her on Facebook.
I want to make public this great gesture of love that you made today with that baby, who you did not know, but for whom you did not hesitate to act like a mother. You did not care if he was dirty or smelly… Things like that are not seen every day.
The incident took place on August 14, which is coincidentally the national day of the female officer in Argentina, according to The Guardian.
Celeste’s actions were widely praised, and caught the attention of Buenos Aires’ minister of security, who has subsequently promoted Celeste from officer to sergeant for her work.
Today we received Celeste, the officer who breast-fed a baby at the # LaPlata Children’s Hospital to notify her of her promotion. We wanted to thank her in person for that gesture of spontaneous love that managed to calm the baby’s cry. The police that make us proud, the police we want.
Hoy recibimos a Celeste, la oficial que amamantó a un bebé en el Hospital de Niños de #LaPlata para notificarle su ascenso. Queríamos agradecerle en persona ese gesto de amor espontáneo que logró calmar el llanto del bebé. La policía que nos enorgullece, la policía que queremos. pic.twitter.com/8aBp0Xj4Zj
— Cristian Ritondo (@cristianritondo) August 17, 2018
Speaking to Cronica at the time, Celeste said:
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 volunteers for in her spare time, also praised the nurturing 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.
Presumably a friend of Celeste’s, Antonella Romano, commented:
I did not expect less from you! Not only are you a great woman, but a great mom. What pride, only those of us who know you know that everything you do is with love.
Local media reported that the six-month-old baby boy was the youngest of six siblings, whose mother was struggling to cope. The infant had recently been taken away from his mother, but police did not say why, reports CNN.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.