Music helpful in reducing symptoms of postpartum depression in new mothers, says study

Music helpful in reducing symptoms of postpartum depression in new mothers, says study

Music has the magical powers to heal pain, mend a broken soul, change the mood and transcend the soul from one realm to another. Listening to tunes and beats of music can be soothing for the nerves, releasing stress and stimulating the body. Moreover, music helps a person in recuperating from the torments of life. Given the above advantages of music, it has been viewed as one of the effective remedial measures for people suffering chronic diseases, especially psychiatric disorders like depression and anxiety disorders.

Several reports have highlighted about a study that has identified the way music and singing can accelerate the process of recovery among mothers from postnatal depression. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of this condition, also known postpartum depression, can be as high as one in five women and occurs after the birth of the newborn.

It can develop between one month and up to one year after the birth of a baby, primarily due to a combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood and extreme fatigue. Compared to baby blues, the symptoms of postnatal depression are more intense and persistent in nature. While the general baby blues subside within few weeks, the symptoms of postnatal depression last longer.

Singing ensures faster recovery than creative play and other treatment

According to the study, mothers who participated in the singing workshop after giving births witnessed faster recovery from their postnatal depression symptoms by singing lullabies to their babies. The study took into account 134 mothers suffering from mild to severe symptoms of postnatal depression. In order to understand the difference in the impact of different creative activities, these mothers were divided into three groups. While the first two groups participated in singing and creative play exercises, those in the third group received usual care like medications, family support, etc.

Interestingly, all groups witnessed improvements within 10 weeks. Compared to other groups, the singing group reported an average 35 percent decrease in their depressive symptoms. Considering the concerns related to the impact of antidepressants on newborns during the phase of breastfeeding, the above finding will enable mothers to explore alternative therapies.

“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,” said Dr. Rosie Perkins, co-author of the study.

Over the years, experts have identified the role of music in triggering the happy cells of the brain and inducing positivity and a jolly mood. Therefore, cheerful music brightens one’s mood and makes him or her happy. Experts opine that music is a combination of frequency, beats, density, tunes, rhythms, repetition, volume and lyrics. Hence, it has an effect on physiological factors like blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, electroencephalogram (EEG) measurements, body temperature, etc.

Explore creative activities to speed up recovery

Although many therapists and researchers take music as an effective method to address severe mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, it cannot replace the conventional medical treatment identified to treat the problem, including postnatal depression. Mental disorder is a serious condition that needs thorough medical intervention for complete recovery. While music can provide additional support during the recovery process, it cannot replace any medically recommended method.

As such, mental disorders can be treated with medication and therapies or combination of both. The treatment is decided as per the degree and duration of the mental health problem through clinical diagnosis conducted by a licensed medical practitioner. Therefore, one should refrain from resorting to alcohol, illicit drugs or prescription opioids for self-medication purpose. Such an unhealthy step in the absence of medical supervision can aggravate the condition and increase the risk of developing an addiction.

Instead, you should seek immediate medical help from a clinician. If you or loved one in experiencing any symptoms of psychiatric disorders, you can seek help from the California Mental Health Helpline. You can call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-559-3923 or chat online with our experts to take guidance regarding the best mental health treatment centers in California.