Celeste Ayala: Argentine police officer who breastfed crying malnourished baby is promoted

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An Argentine police officer who was praised for breastfeeding a crying and malnourished baby has been promoted.

Celeste Ayala cared for the infant, which had reportedly been separated from its mother at the Sor María Ludovica children’s hospital on the outskirts of the country’s capital Buenos Aires last week.

A friend photographed the moment and posted it on Facebook last week, saluting Ms Ayala’s “great gesture of love”. The post was shared widely on social media.

Cristian Ritondo, the security minister of Buenos Aires province, congratulated the officer, who is also said to be a volunteer firefighter.

“We wanted to thank [her] in person for that gesture of spontaneous love that managed to calm the baby’s cry”, he tweeted, adding that her conduct epitomised “the police we’re proud of, the police we want”.

Ms Ayala, who has a daughter aged 16 months, has now been promoted to sergeant.

In an interview with the Cronica newspaper the officer said the baby, along with her siblings, had been separated from their parents, who were in poor health.

The eldest was nine years old and the youngest, seven months.

They were dirty and hungry, she said.

Ms Ayala said she asked permission to feed the youngest child and did not hesitate “for a second” in doing so.

The baby quickly calmed down, she added.

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