• Otonamaki literally translates to ‘adult wrapping’ and was first introduced to help mums alleviate stiff joints after childbirth. (Quartz)Source: Quartz
Otonamaki, or adult wrapping, is taking off around the country as a form of stress-therapy for new mums.
By
Mariam Digges

31 Jan 2017 - 4:54 PM  UPDATED 31 Jan 2017 - 4:54 PM

It's an age-old technique used to settle newborns and help them sleep longer stretches.

But in Japan, swaddling – the art of snuggly wrapping a baby to evoke a womb-like environment – is being offered to postnatal women to help them recover and relax.

Otonamaki literally translates to ‘adult wrapping’ and was first introduced to help mums alleviate stiff joints after childbirth.

The left-of-centre technique was recently offered to five new mums as a means of stress-therapy by a Tokyo-based non-profit organisation who offers services to postnatal women.

According to organisers, swaddling can help new mums with their posture as well as relieving stresses associated with new parenthood.

“It felt warm, and there was this feeling with my body... I have never experienced this before, so it’s quite hard to describe properly."

With guidance from session leader Yayoi Katayama, each woman took turns wrapping one another in the cloth from head to toe while sitting in a cross-legged position. Varying cloth colours are used to simulate different environments.

They were then laid on their backs and rolled around gently from side-to-side in a slow rocking movement.

“It felt warm, and there was this feeling with my body... I have never experienced this before, so it’s quite hard to describe properly,” one woman said in this Quartz video.

Each Otonamaki session typically lasts up to 20 minutes and costs around $30.

Healthcare experts have yet to find evidence supporting the long-term health benefits of the practice. 

 

Postnatal confinement: Why temporary hybernation is actually helpful for new mums
Much derided for its strict and quirky rules, modern adaptations of postnatal confinement are becoming popular among new mums craving rest and recovery. The best bit is that you’re 'allowed' to wash your hair.
New study highlights the importance of low-stress pregnancies
Having a low birth weight, and enduring a stressful pregnancy, can have long-term health effects on women, preliminary research has found.