On Tuesday, a police officer in Buenos Aires, Argentina, named Celeste Ayala was working her regular shift when something pretty irregular happened. CBS News reports that Ayala was stationed at a children’s hospital called Sor María Ludovica when a group of children was brought in by social services. Amongst the kids was a six-month-old baby; all the children were malnourished and neglected.
The baby was crying, and Ayala is herself a mother to a newborn. She got the staff’s permission to comfort the child by breastfeeding them. The gesture was captured by one of her co-workers, who shared the photo on Facebook. it quickly went viral, as it showed Ayala in her full uniform, sitting in the hospital corridor with the baby in her lap, seeming unconcerned about feeding a stranger’s baby with her own body.
The photographer, Marcos Heredia, captioned the picture:
I want to make public this great gesture of love that you made today with that baby, who you did not know, but for who you did not hesitate to act like a mother. Things like that are not seen every day.
The photo was so popular, Ayala was recognized by her own department and promoted from officer to sergeant by Cristian Ritondo, minister of security of the Province of Buenos Aires.
On twitter, Ritondo wrote, “We wanted to thank you in person for that gesture of spontaneous love that managed to calm the baby’s cry.”
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
Ayala didn’t try to soothe a baby’s cry because it would get her promoted. She’s just a mom doing what moms do: taking care of everybody.