Book Club Request Form

Thank you for choosing The Myth of the Perfect Pregnancy for your book club! I am happy to join you at your book club via video chat, or in-person if you are in northern New Jersey or New York City. Just fill out the form to get in touch with me. Below the form is a list of suggested questions for discussion. If you do discuss the book, I’d love to hear what you thought!

 

Book Club discussion questions for The Myth of the Perfect Pregnancy: A History of Miscarriage in America

Thank you for choosing The Myth of the Perfect Pregnancy for your book club! Here are some questions you may want to discuss. Pregnancy and miscarriage are, of course, highly personal and sensitive topics, so it’s important to remember that any sharing must be strictly voluntary.

  • Have you been pregnant? If so, how do your experiences compare with the stories in the book?

  • Consider interviewing a friend or relative of a different generation than yourself, who had a pregnancy long ago, or who had a pregnancy very recently (or who may be looking forward to having children in the future). How have your experiences, or expected experiences, been similar or different? Can you identify change over time? Do you see the history in the book playing out in your own lives?

  • Have you lost a pregnancy? Do you identify with any of the pregnancy and miscarriage experiences of the bloggers or historical figures in the book?

  • What about your own pregnancy and/or miscarriage surprised you?

  • What did you learn from the book that surprised you? Were you already aware of the frequency of pregnancy loss, or was that new information? Which parts of the history were unexpected?

  • Where have you gotten information about pregnancy? Where did women in different historical periods get their information, and how has it changed over time? How have communities of women and written sources such as books and websites informed your reproductive experiences, whether with pregnancy or with sexual knowledge, birth control, abortion, etc.?

  • How does prenatal care as it currently exists help and hurt with early pregnancy and miscarriage? If you have been pregnant, what did you appreciate about your prenatal care, and what do you think could have been done differently?

  • How do you feel about marketers targeting pregnant women? If you have been pregnant, were you aware of the degree to which you were a marketing and advertising target?

  • What do you think of the idea of obstetric ultrasound exams as “ritual”? Are there other pregnancy events and traditions you would categorize as “rituals”? Are these rituals longstanding, or are they relatively new inventions?

  • Have you used home pregnancy tests? If you have been pregnant, how do you think they affected your experience of pregnancy?

  • Are there other ways, in addition to pregnancy, that women are expected to have “perfect” experiences as mothers? How do you think they might be related to cultural expectations around pregnancy?

  • How do you think our current culture around pregnancy affects women with unplanned or unwanted pregnancies?

  • Would you change anything about how we currently handle pregnancy? If so, what? What do you picture for your children or grandchildren, when they are ready to embark on a pregnancy?