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Maternal singing of lullabies during pregnancy and after birth: Effects on mother–infant bonding and on newborns’ behaviour. Concurrent Cohort Study

Published:February 04, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2017.01.007

      Abstract

      Background

      Mother–infant bonding is of great importance for the development and the well-being of the baby. The aim of this Concurrent Cohort Study was to investigate the effects of mothers singing lullabies on bonding, newborns’ behaviour and maternal stress.

      Methods

      Eighty-three (singing cohort) and 85 (concurrent cohort) women were recruited at antenatal classes at 24 weeks g.a. and followed up to 3 months after birth. The Prenatal Attachment Inventory (PAI) and the Mother-to-Infant Bonding Scale (MIBS) were used to assess maternal-foetal attachment and postnatal bonding.

      Findings

      No significant influence was found on Prenatal Attachment; by contrast, Postnatal Bonding was significantly greater (i.e. lower MIBS) in the singing group 3 months after birth (mean 1.28 vs 1.96; p = 0.001). In the same singing group, the incidence of neonatal crying episodes in the first month was significantly lower (18.5% vs 28.2; p < 0.0001) as were the infantile colic (64.7% vs 38.3%; p = 0.003) and perceived maternal stress (29.6% vs 36.5%; p < 0.05). Infantile colic was reduced in the singing group, even in the second month after birth (22.8% vs 36.5; p = 0.002). At the same time, a reduction was observed in the neonatal nightly awakening (1.5% vs 4.7; p < 0.0001).

      Conclusions

      Mothers singing lullabies could improve maternal-infant bonding. It could also have positive effects on neonatal behaviour and maternal stress.

      Keywords

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