An Argentinian policewoman is being praised for her on-the-job compassion that went above and beyond the call of duty. Officer Celeste Ayala answered the cries of a malnourished baby by nursing him.

Six brothers – ranging from age 7 months to 9 years old – had recently been removed from a home for neglect. Ayala and a team of additional police officers accompanied social workers to the hospital with the children.

They were sad, dirty, and all in tears. In an interview with local TV station Crȯnica, one of the doctors stated that in addition to being underfed and scared, those poor babies even had lice. Ayala – who was working overtime – and her colleagues felt the anguish of the kids and stuck around to try to help calm them down.

When she noticed the 7-month-old was crying, she asked one of the hospital staff if it would be okay if she breastfed the baby. She explained that she’s a mom to a 16-month-old little girl and had milk. The hospital was more than happy to accept the offer, and she sat down to nurse the baby.

Ayala told Crȯnica that she and a couple of her colleagues had trouble holding back their own tears, and when she saw that baby, she looked at him as her own. That’s all that motivated her. The moment was snapped by a fellow officer, and the photo soon went viral.

Image of officer breastfeeding baby.

He shared the picture on Facebook with this caption:

“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.”

Ayala is only 27 and has been a police officer for three years, but cases like these make her want to do what she can to help. She has a soft spot for children. When the interviewer asked what her husband thought of her loving gesture, she responded that he loves kids too so it wasn’t a problem at all.

Her actions have not only earned her kudos and admiration from all over the world, but also a job promotion! The Minister of Security for Buenos Aires, Cristian Ritondo, has upgraded Celeste to sergeant.

He, along with other members of the community, praised her for her actions and for allowing her maternal instincts to lead her. He wrote on Twitter:

“Today we received Celeste, the officer who nursed a baby at the children’s Hospital #LaPlata to notify her of her promotion. We wanted to thank you in person for that gesture of spontaneous love that managed to calm the baby’s cry. The police we’re proud of, the police we want.”

This officer’s selfless gesture of breastfeeding a child in despair may not be something you hear about every day but has reminded many of the act of wet nursing. Lactating mamas often step in to feed hungry babies that are not their own but do so to help. Kindness is kindness!

Would you do what Officer Ayala did if you could? What do you think of her actions? Are you familiar with wet nursing?