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Not everyone would breastfeed an abandoned baby, but this mom did

When she's not writing, Claire Gillespie can most often be found wiping snotty noses, picking up Lego, taking photos of her cat or doing headstands.

Why a woman breastfed a stranger's baby in the middle of the street

We've all heard stories of women breastfeeding their sister's and friend's babies — stepping in with a big heart and a boob full of milk to give an infant what it needs. But breastfeeding a baby who has been abandoned in the street? How many of us could honestly say we'd do that without hesitation?

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A young woman in northwestern China's Shaaxi province has given us all something to think about. One morning in the city of Xianyang, an office worker passed what she thought was a box of garbage on the street, but when she heard cries, she realized it held an abandoned baby girl. The crying baby lay among some bedding, half a bag of milk powder and 100 yuan (around USD$15).

Other passers-by gathered around the plastic storage box to try to work out what to do. It’s believed that the baby girl was no more than a few days old and may have been born with cerebral palsy. While some people went to inform the police and others left to fetch water for the infant, a 26-year-old woman simply listened to her maternal instinct — she picked up the baby girl, cradled her in her arms, lifted her shirt and allowed the tot to latch on to her breast.

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It’s unknown whether the woman herself was a new mother or had even had any breastfeeding experience, but it doesn’t matter. Her actions caused the child to immediately stop crying, providing her with some much-needed comfort and warmth.

The baby girl is currently undergoing medical tests to establish whether she has any health problems, and authorities are trying to track down her parents. Her future is unknown, but one thing is for sure — her ordeal was made slightly easier by the selfless woman who didn’t hesitate to step in when she was in desperate need of an act of love.

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