A mother who breastfed her child in the midst of a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has gone viral.

A mother who breastfed her child in the midst of a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has gone viral - and inspired a trending hashtag: #BoobsForBernie - but says she has been receiving hate mail and death threats because of it.

Margaret Ellen Bradford, of Barberton, Ohio, attended the event in Berea, near Cleveland, last week, with her six-month-old Harper.

And when Harper got hungry in the middle of the rally, Bradford - standing in the second row, just feet away from Sanders - fed her in the midst of a cheering crowd.

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Later, when she realised a photographer had captured the moment, she shared the picture on Facebook, where it quickly went viral - but also attracted an angry backlash.

"There is no: 'I'm feeding you in 10 minutes.' It's: 'I'm feeding you right here, right now, or you're screaming,'" she told WEWS. "A hungry baby is a hungry baby."

Bradford added in a Facebook post: "While there, she got hungry like babies do. And unbeknownst to me at the time, a reporter took this photo of us."

She added that after the event Bernie and his wife Jane "thanked me for doing what mothers do and taking care of my daughter when she needed her mom, even if that meant nursing in public".

Bradford, an advocate for public breastfeeding who has three children under four, also urged other mothers to share pictures of themselves breastfeeding their children alongside the hashtag: #BoobsForBernie.

"So my boobs went viral today but it's OK because it was Bernie Sanders," she said.

But along with praise came death threats and "a lot of hate mail", Bradford said - as breastfeeding in public continues to be a divisive issue.

"Honestly, I've cried three times already from some of the hateful messages I've received, telling me my daughter should be taken away or that I'm just an uneducated lowlife hick," she said.

"There is no reason why something like this should be so unheard of in 2016, because that's what moms do. Society, catch up with biology."

Sanders' campaign, however, tweeted their support of Bradford, writing: "As a society, we should never stigmatise women for breastfeeding in public."

- Daily Mail