The influence of maternal singing on well-being, postpartum
Postpartum depression is fairly common in new mothers and moreover associated with impaired bonding and poor maternal well-being. The present study shows a positive impact of a mother-infant singing intervention on maternal well-being, depressive symptoms, and bonding.

120 women took part in this prospective, randomized-controlled study. Besides the baseline measurement 1–3 days after childbirth, depressive symptoms, maternal well-being, and mother-infant bonding were evaluated with questionnaires before (two weeks after birth) and after (twelve weeks after birth) the intervention took place. The experimental group (n=59) participated in several singing intervention sessions while the control group (n=61) did not. In the intervention group, salivary cortisol, as well as attachment and mood, were assessed immediately before and after the singing sessions.

- The participants of the intervention group showed a significant reduction of cortisol and an improvement of attachment and mood from start to end of the intervention session.

- However, no prolonged effects were revealed beyond the intervention sessions as the two groups did not differ regarding the alterations of the primary outcomes postpartum depression and postpartum bonding in the 10-week period from two up to twelve weeks after childbirth.

- Additional analyses of singing habits at home in both groups, revealed that only in the singing group more frequent singing was associated with less anxiety and more well-being of the mother.

In summary, singing towards the infant seems to have positive immediate effects on the well-being of new mothers. However, the intervention did not lead to more long-lasting positive effects although several limitations should be considered.

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth