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.