Postpartum depression is a painfully common condition that can affect new mothers after the whirlwind of pregnancy and childbirth. It's a difficult condition to struggle with, as it can steal away those early times with your new little baby. Fortunately, it is treatable, and it's important that you reach out to your care provider if you are experiencing symptoms.
A new study that was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that singing helped to relieve the symptoms of postpartum depression. This study looked at 134 mothers who were showing symptoms of postpartum depression, and put them into groups where they sang to their babies. The study was trying to find whether singing to their babies would make a difference in the symptoms of new mothers.
The singing intervention group saw women go to group sessions for an hour where they sang lullabies and songs to their babies. They found that the women who went to theses sessions (as opposed to the control group who just carried on with their normal routines) had a decrease in their symptoms of PPD.
Rosie Perkins, one of the researchers who spearheaded this study, told Newsweek that "some of our other research with mothers has shown that singing led to greater decreases in anxiety and enhanced perceptions of emotional closeness than other social interaction".
The fact that these women participated in these groups also seemed to help them not feel so isolated and lonely, common feelings that afflict new mothers. However this on it's own didn't seem to be the culprit for the reduction in PPD symptoms. The singing group specifically saw mothers doing much better than women attending groups alone. So if you are struggling after giving birth, you may want to try singing to your babies.
If you think you might be experiencing postpartum depression, it's important that you speak to your doctor. It's a very common condition, and nobody should have to suffer unnecessarily. There are ways that you and your support network can help you feel normal again, so you can be free to enjoy your baby without all the emotional hardship.