Music and Motherhood: The Impact of Creative Interventions on the Symptoms of Postnatal Depression

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Fancourt D, Perkins R, Roberts D, Yorke S

Year of Publication:

Centre for Performance Science Royal College of Music

Publication Type:
Other Paper


This is a summary document of a research project, led by the Centre for Performance Science, Royal College of Music, which explored how creative engagement can support the wellbeing of new mothers. This one-sheet summary gives an overview, with the help of infographics, of the project’s background, how the research was carried out and key findings.

The project investigated the effectiveness of creative interventions, including singing and play, as a psychosocial tool to reduce the occurrence and effects of Post Natal Depression (PND) symptoms. It used a randomised controlled design with 134 women to provide insight into how and why creative activities may support postnatal wellbeing. The intervention study was supplemented by a cohort study of over 2,000 women tracking the interactions between mental wellbeing, symptoms of PND, and involvement in creative activities in women during pregnancy and the first year of motherhood.

The project found that mothers with moderate-severe symptoms of PND who took part in 10-week singing classes with their baby had a significantly faster improvement in symptoms than mothers having their usual care. There was not a significant difference in recovery speed between mothers taking part in a comparison activity of ten weeks of creative play and those in usual care.

Evidence Type: RCT

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Outcome Evaluation

Context: Community

Participant Group: Adults

Art Forms: Music

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Perkins R., Fancourt D., Roberts D., Yorke S (2018) Music and Motherhood: The Impact of Creative Interventions on the Symptoms of Postnatal Depression (Summary). London: Centre for Performance Science (Royal College of Music)