The study, led by researchers from the Centre for Performance Science and funded by Arts Council England, looked at 134 mothers with post-natal depression. Early recovery is seen to be crucial to limit effects on mother and baby. Singing workshops saw the mothers learning lullabies and songs from around the world with their babies and creating new songs together about motherhood.
‘Mothers who sing in groups with their babies may overcome the symptoms of post-natal depression more quickly.’
Those with moderate to severe symptoms of post-natal depression reported a much faster improvement than mothers in the usual care and play groups.
"Many mothers have concerns about taking depression medication whilst breastfeeding and uptake of psychological therapies with new mothers is relatively low," said Dr Daisy Fancourt from University College London, lead author of the study.
"So these results are really exciting as they suggest that something as simple as referring mothers to community activities could support their recovery."
"Post-natal depression is debilitating for mothers and their families, yet our research indicates that for some women something as accessible as singing with their baby could help to speed up recovery at one of the most vulnerable times of their lives," said Rosie Perkins, principal investigator of the study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.