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Singing 'speeds up' recovery from post-natal depression

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Health Desk-- 9 January, 2018: A study suggests singing could help mothers recover from post-natal depression more quickly.

Researchers found that women who took part in group singing sessions with their babies experienced a much faster improvement in their symptoms than those who did not. The study looked at 134 mothers with post-natal depression.

Early recovery is seen to be crucial to limit effects on mother and baby. Post-natal depression is estimated to affect one in eight new mothers. Previous studies have indicated singing can help improve the mental health of older people and those with dementia, but this is the first controlled study of its effect on post-natal depression.

The singing workshops saw the mothers learning lullabies and songs from around the world with their babies and creating new songs together about motherhood.

Lead author Dr Daisy Fancourt, from University College London, said singing was another useful therapy to offer women.

"Many mothers have concerns about taking depression medication whilst breast-feeding and uptake of psychological therapies with new mothers is relatively low," she said.

The study was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.