King’s College London and University College London (UCL) are leading the world’s largest study into the effect of group singing on the mental and emotional health of mothers and new babies. Supported by the Wellcome Trust, this large-scale study will investigate both the process and the impact of Breathe’s pioneering Melodies for Mums Programme.
COVID is affecting everyone’s lives in a significant way – disruption to daily routines prolonged periods without seeing family, friends, and loved ones, and restrictions to activities and leisure time. Imagine all of this and the added factor of being a new mum. Melodies for Mums offers crucial creative support at a time when many mothers struggle with their mental health, but find effective support is often limited or lacking, and symptoms often missed.
In 2016, Imperial College and the Royal College of Music carried out a piece of research that scientifically proved that carefully designed social singing groups can significantly reduce symptoms of postnatal depression and/or anxiety in new mums. In response to this research, and using a similar model and approach, we set up Melodies for Mums, and have been able to help many new parents through difficult times over the last three years.
The next Melodies for Mums research study programme starts on Tuesday 23rd March at 3pm, and further sessions are due to start mid April– including weekly hour-long sessions over 6 weeks. New mothers can experience the joy of singing & music-making, led by one of our trained musicians, and instead of popular nursery rhymes, women learn everything from folk songs and lullabies to gospel, in a range of languages making it a culturally inclusive environment. The programme is completely FREE and online, making it easily accessible.
Although our main focus is supporting the mother, the little ones will also get a lot from the sessions. Our mothers tell us the sessions have improved their bonds with their babies and the music & singing has taught them new calming techniques
In addition to the singing sessions, the research study programme will include additional clinical screening with a clinician and follow up. All information will be gathered anonymously and will contribute to the wider study.
Findings from the research have shown that the programme can lead to a 41% reduction in symptoms of PND and a recovery in 73% of mothers who took part.