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Facebook moms group rallies to support cancer patient in the most inspiring way

The warrior mama says the way the community came together for her was nothing short of “magic.” ✨

Facebook moms group rallies to support cancer patient in the most inspiring way
? Britany Ek

When moms support other moms, beautiful things—and beautiful hair—can happen.


Back in January, California mom Britany Ek was diagnosed with breast cancer at just 35 years old. She knew treatment would be hard, physically and mentally, and she knew she would lose her long, blonde hair—and the $10,000 price tag for a custom wig seemed out of reach.

What Ek didn’t know was that soon she would have hair that made her feel like herself again, all thanks to social media and fellow moms from across the country.

“I posted in my Facebook moms group that I couldn't afford a wig that looked like my natural hair and a bunch of my friends in that group reached out via social media to their friends and communities asking for donations,” the mom of three told Motherly. “In less than a week, all the hair had been cut and was being mailed to my friend Allison in Florida. Allison then mailed the package off to my wig maker here.”

The wig maker, Hair Couture Designs in Camarillo, California, was able to use several donated ponytails to craft a stunning, natural-looking wig that would have cost thousands of dollars had the hair bundles been purchased.

“They all came from people I had never met. It's amazing the kindness and generosity people have in them,” said Ek.

The donations also made Ek’s cancer battle slightly easier to comprehend for her three young sons.

“Me losing my hair really affected my six year old twins,” she said, adding that one of her boys told her he hoped her flowing hair would be back by Christmas.

Thanks to the Facebook group, Christmas came early for Ek, but her online mom friends were not the only moms in her life to lend support to the Navy wife during her time of need.

“I even had my Navy officer spouses club and local moms group deliver dinner to my family for six whole months. It was so helpful,” said Ek, who called the support of her community a true blessing.

Long before her Facebook friends helped her create her wig, one of Ek’s fellow Navy wives, Lauren Wenker with LaLa Clicks Photography, suggested a family photo session in the days leading up to Ek’s first cancer treatments. Those photos capturing Ek prior to her hairloss have proven to be a great gift to the mom as she moves through cancer treatment, giving her something to look back on on the days she feels sick of looking sick.

“I'm so glad she suggested it,” she said. “My mind was all over the place and family pics never crossed my mind.”

The hairstyle captured in those family photos was then emulated by Ek’s wig maker, who created a wig that gives Ek a natural looking hairline. She can even put it in a ponytail or braid it—and says it feels like magic. ✨

As her treatment continues, Ek remains thankful for her friends—those on Facebook and in person—and has some advice for other moms dealing with cancer and other illnesses.

“Be prepared to let people help you any which way they offer to.”

A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.

Boom.

I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

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Life

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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