Discussion Questions for Night Sweats: An Unexpected Pregnancy

A group recently decided to read my book Night Sweats together and asked me to send along some questions for their discussion. It’s a bit awkward to write discussion questions for your own book, so I put my clever (and occasionally obnoxious) friends on the internet up to the task. Here’s what they came up with. Use at your pleasure and/or peril.

  • What anxieties did you have/do you have about becoming a parent (or choosing not to)?
  • How might this book be relevant to all women, not just ones who are pregnant?
  • Talk about the narrator’s relationships with other people in the book. Why do you think she chose to make the baby’s father mostly absent from the narrative?
  • How has ready access to contraception changed women’s lives, family dynamics, and societal expectations? How has it not changed them?
  • How do we, presuming we are contraception users, balance the assurance of not conceiving against the known failure of all contraceptives sometimes?
  • What would you have done in the narrator’s position? What makes your choices different or the same?
  • Did it surprise you to learn that almost half of pregnancies are unintended?
  • Did this book change your mind about anything? If so, what, and why?
  • People expect pregnancy to be all joyful anticipation. What feelings do you have about pregnancy and parenthood that you feel aren’t acceptable to express?
  • The narrator structures her book around the church year. What role does religion play in her life and in the book? Did her faith add to or detract from your reading of the book?
  • What are your thoughts on pregnancy as it intersects with mental health and mental health care?
  • Does this book have anything to say to men?
  • What subject headings would you assign to this book?
  • How do you feel about “Pregnancy, Unwanted” as the Library of Congress’s description of unplanned pregnancy?
  • What should the IUD company have brought to Laura’s baby shower?
  • What kind of birth control are you using and how much do you trust it after reading this book?

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