Last month Britney Spears
went in—and quickly out of—Promises rehab facility in Malibu. But then, late evening on Feb. 21, she checked back in and seemed to stay on the right track. When the 25-year-old pop star emerged from Promises on Feb. 28 and March 1, she looked clear-eyed and happy. On those days, she was out only for a few hours, to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. "Going out is fine," says Jim Stillwell, executive director of Impact, a rehab facility in Pasadena. "That is part of the fellowship and getting back into the community."
A fellowship is also developing within her extended family, led by Spears's ex, Kevin Federline
, and including both their mothers. While they care for sons Sean Preston, 18 months, and Jayden James, 6 months, "Everyone is making comments how sad it is that it took this to get everyone together," says a source close to Federline. "There was a lot of distance between the families but it seems now they all have a common goal, which is to help Britney get better."
Amid speculation that Spears may be suffering from postpartum depression, it was reported that she picked up a copy of Brooke Shields
's book, Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression
. "If she is reading my book, I hope it's helping her," Shields, 41, told Access Hollywood
March 1. "If it's not, and she wants to talk to someone, I'm available."
While Spears works on her sobriety, Federline, 28, is going through changes too. On March 3 he brought their kids when he went to Las Vegas for a paid appearance at the Beatles Revolution Lounge (a gig booked before Spears checked into rehab). "He was having a good time, but wasn't the wild, crazy Kevin who used to come to Vegas," says a source. "He was late for dinner because he wanted to tuck his kids into bed."
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's complete celeb bio, plus up-to-the-minute news and photos at PEOPLE.COM/BRITNEY_SPEARS