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A new study has found that something as simple as singing could help treat post-natal depression.

Published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, the study took 134 mothers suffering from post-natal depression and put them in three groups. The first group took part in group singing sessions; the second participated in creative play workshops and the third received their usual care (such as antidepressants or family support).

Researchers found that the women who participated in group singing sessions recovered from post-natal depression more quickly than those in the other groups.

This is the first controlled study of the effect of singing on post-natal depression, the BBC reports.

“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,” says lead researcher Dr Rosie Perkins.

If you need some support contact the PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia) Helpline 1300 726 306

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  • I reckon a lot of Mum would have benefited from singing, if they are unable to join a group singing as a family or alone probably helps.

    Reply

  • Yes I believe that singing has an enormous uplifting and empowering effect on us.
    As the popularity of group singing grows, science has been hard at work trying to explain why it has such a calming yet energizing effect on people. What researchers are beginning to discover is that singing is like an infusion of the perfect tranquilizer, the kind that both soothes your nerves and elevates your spirits.
    The elation may come from endorphins, a hormone released by singing, which is associated with feelings of pleasure. Or it might be from oxytocin, another hormone released during singing, which has been found to alleviate anxiety and stress. Oxytocin also enhances feelings of trust and bonding, which may explain why still more studies have found that singing lessens feelings of depression and loneliness. A very recent study even attempts to make the case that “music evolved as a tool of social living,” and that the pleasure that comes from singing together is our evolutionary reward for coming together cooperatively, instead of hiding alone, every cave-dweller for him or herself.
    The benefits of singing regularly seem to be cumulative. In one study, singers were found to have lower levels of cortisol, indicating lower stress. A very preliminary investigation suggesting that our heart rates may sync up during group singing could also explain why singing together sometimes feels like a guided group meditation. Study after study has found that singing relieves anxiety and contributes to quality of life. A researcher who has focused on older singers, recently began a five year study to examine group singing as an affordable method to improve the health and well-being of older adults. It turns out you don’t even have to be a good singer to reap the rewards. According to one 2005 study, group singing “can produce satisfying and therapeutic sensations even when the sound produced by the vocal instrument is of mediocre quality.”
    Music therapy has also been used and proven for many years in the psychiatric circuit.

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  • I’d never heard of this. You hear a lot about exercise but singing is a lovely gentle method.

    Reply

  • This would be such a simple and easy method to help women suffering!!

    Reply

  • And thats great. But very important to remember that sometimes singing may not help and every mother should have access to counselling and medication if they need it.

    Reply

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