Bernie Sanders Endorses Breastfeeding Mom At Rally

A Facebook user posting about her fangirl moment during Bernie Sanders’ Cleveland rally last week lead to instant fame when a photo of her breastfeeding her daughter at the event went viral.

Margaret Ellen Bradford from Barberton, Ohio, brought her six-month-old daughter Harper to the rally in Cleveland when she got hungry. Like most six-month-olds, little Harper was not prepared to sit quietly and wait til the end of the rally for her food, so Margaret Ellen decided to breastfeed her in the middle of the rally. “There is no, ‘I’m feeding you in 10 minutes.’ It’s, ‘I’m feeding you right here, right now, or you’re screaming,'” Bradford told WEVS-TV.

She said that after the rally, Sanders and his wife Jane came up and thanked her for being a mom, and thanked her for setting an example of nursing in public places.

“Jane Sanders just thanked me for breastfeeding during Bernie’s rally this morning in Cleveland. Bernie hugged me and my daughter and told me how much he loved our homemade Bernie shirts,” she said in one of the many Facebook groups dedicated to helping Bernie Sanders campaign. “I got to sit in the second row! And then to top it off, Nina Turner came and found me, because as she put it “Who can resist kissing a breastfed baby all chunky and happy from her mama’s milk.” Life complete.”

What Margaret Ellen didn’t know was that a Reuters photographer had captured the moment perfectly, and the youthful, exuberant, and ever-so-progressive image which reflected the spirit and demographic of the supporters of Bernie Sanders, was about to go viral.

It got even more surreal for the young Ohio mom when Bernie Sanders retweeted this same photo with a stirring message – “As a society, we should never stigmatize women for breastfeeding in public.”

Many people praised the the politician for being so progressive on a much-maligned issue. Thrilled at being mention by her idol, Margaret Ellen took to Twitter not long after, encouraging everyone to use the tag #BoobsForBernie, to support both breastfeeding and her hero, Bernie Sanders.

Not everyone’s feeling the Bern though, particularly on Facebook which is widely known for its puritanical views on female nipples which, when reported, will often be banned. At least one copy of the photo has been reported to the Facebook admin and deemed not fit for the site. The directives on breastfeeding photos on both Facebook and Instagram have often been a hot issue of contention.

Bradford says she’s received a lot of hate mail, including death threats, but overall it’s been a very positive experience. People have been flooding Twitter and Facebook using the #BoobsForBernie to broadcast positive messages about breastfeeding, and Bernie Sanders.

This comes in the same week it was revealed that even the A-list actors invited to the Academy Awards just last weekend were forced to “pump and dump” in the restrooms of the glitzy event.

No quiet breastfeeding side room even for the queens of the large screen. No, Hollywoods most glamorous mothers were pumping their baby’s food in the toilets.

As of this week though, the social stigma of breastfeeding is feeling the Bern.

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]