Singing with your baby could help mothers through post-natal depression, a study suggests.
Researchers found that women who sang to their newly born children improved their mental health quicker than those who didn’t.
Childcare health visitor and former midwife Sarah Metcalfe says this isn’t surprising.
“Singing to your baby can be an intimate moment. It can create a connection between mother and child. Especially if the baby reacts positively to the singing – which they often do.”
The NHS say that post-natal depression affects more than one in ten mothers, and can also affect fathers and partners. Metcalfe said:
“It’s very common in mothers and it’s nothing to feel ashamed of. A lot of new mothers assume they have post-natal depression but actually have the baby blues. If depressive symptoms last more than a few weeks then you should seek some help from your GP or health visitor.”
“It’s very common in mothers and it’s nothing to feel ashamed of.”
The British Journal of Psychiatry published the study after working with 134 mothers with post-natal depression.
One in eight mothers are estimated to be affected by post-natal depression.
Mothers were placed into three activity groups:
- Group singing
- Creative play
- Common care including antidepressants and family support
The group singing workshop encouraged mothers singing lullabies as well as creating new songs about motherhood.
Subsequently, mothers with moderate to severe post-natal depression experienced a vast improvement compared to the other groups.
All three groups improved over the ten-week study, but in the first six weeks the singing group reported a 35% decrease in depression.