Motherhood: Relieving postpartum depression with song
The WHO, in collaboration with Jameel Arts & Health Lab, will present the results of a study entitled 'Music and Motherhood' in Copenhagen on 6 October 2023, during an event focused on the potential of the arts to improve health and healthcare systems.
The study falls under a new research protocol implemented by the WHO Regional Office for Europe in response to the growing body of evidence that music, and particularly the act of singing, can be an effective tool in reducing symptoms of postpartum depression, a condition that affects one in eight new mothers. One such contributing study was conducted by Daisy Fancourt, University College London and steering committee chair, Jameel Arts & Health Lab; and fellow researcher Rosie Perkins, Royal College of Music. The study involved a sample of 134 mothers suffering from postpartum depression, split into three groups to receive different interventions over a ten-week period. One group received standard care, which included family support, medication and psychotherapy, another group engaged in activity-based play, while the remaining group took part in singing workshops. The group that engaged in singing showed the fastest improvement in mental wellbeing. Symptoms of depression in the singing group decreased by 35% in six weeks.