Postnatal well-being

Singing groups have been set up to help support mothers and parents as they adjust to parenthood and the challenges of having a baby. These groups are important as they can provide a supportive space to meet people who are facing similar challenges, and can facilitate important social connections for those who are finding parenthood challenging for maintaining a healthy social life.  Research also demonstrates that singing groups for new parents can improve the mental health of participants and can lead to increased infant bonding. This is particularly important for individuals who are living with postnatal depression.

Singing programmes have been developed to target stress, anxiety and loneliness associated with postnatal depression. Breathe Melodies for Mums is a London-based organisation which runs online sessions that can be accessed by anyone across the UK. This project has been shaped by research on singing and postnatal depression at the  Royal College of Music and Imperial College London. New research is being undertaken that evaluates the effectiveness of the Breathe Melodies for Mums, to be published in 2024.

Singing Mamas is an organisation who are also focused on delivering singing for maternal well-being. They run a training course for anyone interested in setting up a group.

Information on postnatal depression can be found on the NHS website:

Pandas foundation is a resource with helpful support links for postnatal depression:

Open Access Research

Bind, R.H., Estevao, C., Fancourt, D. et al. (2022), Online singing interventions for postnatal depression in times of social isolation: a feasibility study protocol for the SHAPER-PNDO single-arm trial. Pilot Feasibility Stud 8, 148.

Estevao C, Bind R, Fancourt D, et al (2021), SHAPER-PND trial: clinical effectiveness protocol of a community singing intervention for postnatal depression, BMJ Open, 11:e052133. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-052133.

Fancourt D & Perkins R (2018), The effect of singing interventions on symptoms of postnatal depression: a three-arm randomised controlled trial, British Journal of Psychiatry, 212, 119-121, doi:10.1192/bjp.2017.29.

Perkins R, Yorke S, & Fancourt D (2018), How group singing facilitates recovery from the symptoms of postnatal depression: a comparative qualitative study, BMC Psychology, 6 (41), 1-12,

Wulff, V., Hepp, P., Wolf, O.T. et al. (2021), The influence of maternal singing on well-being, postpartum depression and bonding – a randomised, controlled trial. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 21, 501.