Jeanne Faulkner

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As a writer, I offer in depth coverage of issues effecting our lifestyles from health and family life to politics, fitness, food and more.  I add a reassuring slant that takes the focus off fear-based journalism,  a global perspective to expand our view on universal issues and humor to take the edge off serious subjects.  My goal is to educate, inform and entertain my readers with stories that impact their lives and show them how their lives impact others.  If they have a little fun along with that, all the better.                               

The Labor Nurse – Since You Asked

I used to answer reader’s questions every week over on my column:  Fit Pregnancy’s Ask The Labor Nurse, but we’re changing things up over there. While I’m still writing Ask The Labor Nurse (eight years and counting), I’ll now answer reader emails right here on my own website JeanneFaulkner.com.

I’ve been talking and blogging women and men through the confusing, befuddling, disturbing, exhilarating and super funny parts of their pregnancies, births and parenting from pre-conception through the toddler years forever.  I’ve worked in women’s health, maternal health, newborn care and more for more than 30 years, 25 of those as a registered nurse.  I’ve been a mom to many for decades too, which adds to my arsenal of experience to draw from.

I’ve been writing about these topics and others for more than a dozen years for magazines, blogs, websites, newspapers and of course, in my book, The Complete Illustrated Birthing Companion. 

I know how complicated pregnancy can seem so I’ve written up My Simple Seven Tips For Having Your Best Pregnancy and Birth and made them available for free on my website.  Each week, I’ll tackle another question or two right here at  The Labor Nurse – Since You Asked and we’ll get through all of this together.  Feel free to email your questions to Jeanne@JeanneFaulkner.com.

 

Jeanne Faulkner

Blog

All the stuff that’s on my mind that’s related to maternal and women’s health, politics, feminism and activism, parenting and writing and then some. August 4, 2014 I found this old piece I wrote about aging and my dogs on … Continue reading

Addiction, Admission and Astrology

Since I’ve been sober a dozen years, I like to tell people I now have only one vice – coffee.  Unfortunately, that’s a lie.  While I do love coffee and I’m totally addicted to my two super-strong cups every morning of the blackest, darkest and, hottest, it’s not my only vice.  I’m also addicted to horoscopes – daily, weekly, monthly, hell if I could get them hourly I’d opt in.  I don’t just read one horoscope either. Nope, true confession time:  I have six different horoscope apps on my phone and I read them all first thing in the morning.  Then, later in the day, I go online and read a few more.   I have my regular astrologers that I’ve been going strong with for years, but there’s no bigger thrill (sad, right) than finding a new one and seeing if they’ve got the stuff.

Why on earth would a smart woman rely on astrology to launch her day? It’s because I’m a total sucker for that kernel of hope/nugget of guidance that horoscopes provide.  It’s because I like to believe there are stars (and spirits, ancestors and angels – I’m into those too) guiding me through this random-order life.  I like to believe that the universe has its shit together and a bigger clue than I do about what’s going on around here.  When every day starts with pure potential and it’s own bevy of complications, I love the simplicity, clarity and certainty that astrology provides to put my day in order.

But why six horoscopes?  Because one of them is short and sweet, another is sappy but always positive, another is scientific and anotheris girlfriendy.  One tackles career and money and another is long and thorough.  If one of them is daunting or hints that it might be a rocky day, I hit another one that projects the day with a rosier glow. I’m not a nut. I don’t plan my schedule around mercury retrogrades and avoid signing contracts during specific transits of the moon and starts. I do, however, find that fairly often, my horoscope is quite accurate about predicting certain events, moods, and occurrences.

Do I truly believe this stuff?  Meh…sometimes yes, mostly no, but that’s not the point.  The point is that horoscopes offer guidance, wisdom and optimism. They shed a wee bit of light on a life that’s often murky and confusing.  Why do I read them?  Because when it comes right down to it, horoscopes provide hope and that’s my real vice:  I’m a total hope junkie.

In Sickness and in Health

This week I did something I rarely, ever do.  It involved spending inordinate amounts of time in bed, lots of gasping and moaning and virtually no sleep.  I got totally sweaty and my hair was a pony-tailed, bed-head mess. You’d think that one night of hitting the sheets before dark would be enough, but nooooo…three nights in a row and it still wasn’t enough and oh my God, those nights were endless.

You know what I was doing, right?   Wait, what?  No…not that…I wish.

I got sick with a god-awful cold that snuck up on me like a mugger with a broken bottle. It hit me hard. This was no lady-like, delicate sniffle, pat-pat of the tissue, pink nosed kind of cold. This was The Big One – a cold so ominous and threatening, it laid me out. One minute I was fine and the next…face down and miserable with coughing, hacking, and buckets of snot. I dry-swallowed ibuprofen and popped Sudafed like a junkie. I daydreamed about nose tampons as I emptied box after box of tissues.  It startled my kids, worried my husband and frightened my dogs.  This cold was a mother-fu*#er and not in the best sense of the term.

Why am I blogging about this?  Because being sick this week made me feel totally sorry for myself.  It made me whiny and pitiful and turned me into a poor, poor excuse for a human being. But it also provided a rare opportunity for me to stop everything, quit being productive, and fuggedabout taking care of anyone else.  This cold took the week I intended to be brilliant, creative and filled with profitable and beneficial activities and blew that plan to back forty.  Instead, this week became all about me and that is a rare, rare moment in any mother’s life

When, after several days,  I finally got out of bed and took a look in the mirror, I was smacked with a stark reality check. It was a snap shot moment of who I am right now and it was not pretty.  After I took a good hard look though at my puffy, weepy face and sweaty, snarly hair, I gave myself a little wink and said to myself, “Honey, this is us at our worst, in all our booger-crusted glory, clutching the inhaler, addicted to  cough drops, wheezing, dripping, red eyed and migrainie.  Take a good look because guess what:  We’re all right. In fact, we’re doing just fine.”

Sure, I looked and felt like crap, but I saw this as an opportunity to hit the skids (in a sober kind of way), sink deep into my healing place and plug in with my need to rest, nurture myself and get better.  I wrote myself a prescription for ample doses of cheap reading material and TV on my laptop.  I napped, dozed and yes, wrote, but I did it from bed.  I was completely unprofessional and told my coworkers and clients that I was sick, slow and a wee bit stupid. I hoped they’d be kind about it.  They were.  And the world kept spinning.

For someone who writes an awful lot about health and wellness, you’d think  blogging about sickness might be contraindicated.  But our body’s ability to heal itself combined with a commitment to self-care is at the heart of what makes us healthy.  Sometimes you just have to get good and sick to remind yourself of that.

 

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Latest Huffington Post Piece

10 Tips for Staying Married Forever

Posted: Updated: 

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OLD COUPLE LOVE

My husband and I will soon celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary. We got married way too young and the odds were probably stacked against us and yet, here we are so many years later and we’re still together. We’re not celebrities, not wealthy, not in the spotlight and not any different than anybody else who has picked a lifetime partner. We’ve been through some seriously great times together but we’ve also been through some shit and I mean real-life shit that could be way too much for some couples to withstand. So what’s the key to our longevity? It’s pretty simple. We’re happy together, we like each other’s company and we’re still genuinely in love. That accounts for most of why we’ve been able to stick it out while other couples can’t. We have other keys though and here are ten of them:  Read More

This week’s Huffington Post piece is tearing up the InterWebs

Misleading Evidence, Why Maternal Health Is Not Plummeting In The U.S.

Guest blog I wrote for Jennifer Pastiloff’s Manifest-station

When Jennifer wrote about her gratitude for a long career as a waitress, even including the crap customers, she inspired me to write about my own experience as a long-time labor and delivery nurse.  She posted my piece, titled, In Gratitude for a Long Career on her website last week.  Check it out.  Jen’s blog is wonderful.

Speaking at the Big City Baby Shower

Christy and me at BCBS

 

Click on this link and Use password ami123 to watch our clip.

This week’s video – My Review of The Good Mother Myth

My Review of The Good Mother Myth

My YouTube series – Talking about women’s and maternal health

My YouTube series – Talking about women’s and maternal health

The Complete Illustrated Birthing Companion Has Arrived

After much dedication and work I am pleased to announce the arrival of a book I coauthored. The Complete Illustrated Birthing Companion can be found here.

Every Mother Counts

I’m writing for my favorite organization – Every Mother Counts, a global maternal health advocacy organization.  Check out some of my articles and the work we do to help mothers around the world.

 

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The Dark Side of the Family_ Why Domestic Violence Increases During the Holidays and Pregnancies 

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MIN-Online Best of the Web Best Blog 2012

Niger: Food Crisis or Ground Floor Opportunity

 

 

Huffington Post   Niger: Food Crisis or Ground Floor Opportunity

Ask a woman when she was hungriest, she might say when she was pregnant or breastfeeding. Ask a man and he might remember being a teenager, growing several inches a year. If you ask me, it was when I was driving home from work, pregnant with my first baby. Continue reading

It’s All About the Wedding: How Preventing Child Marriage Can Help Eradicate Poverty

Despite her obsession with My Fair Wedding, when my daughter turns 12 next month she’ll have a birthday cake and a slumber party, not a wedding cake and marriage. As an American girl, she’s lucky to grow up in a culture where girls can choose who and when they’ll marry, that values women’s contributions to the workplace and society; where motherhood is something a girl can aspire to (or not) when she’s ready, not while she’s still a child herself.

Little girls getting married sounds like a reality TV mash up of Toddlers & Tiaras meets Housewives of the Developing World. Unfortunately, it’s reality for 25,000 child brides (and grooms, but mostly brides) who get married every day. In the developing world, one in three girls under the age of 18 is married, one in seven is under 15 and it’s not uncommon for 10 year-olds to marry men three times their age…Continue reading this Huffington Post article (Click Here)