Doulas provide emotional and physical support to expectant mothers and to families during the postpartum period. According to the American Pregnancy Association, "Most doula-client relationships begin a few months before the baby is due. During this period, they develop a relationship in which the mother feels free to ask questions, express her fears and concerns, and take an active role in creating a birth plan. Most doulas make themselves available to the mother by phone in order to respond to her questions or address any concerns that might arise during the course of the pregnancy. Doulas do not provide any type of medical care. However, they are knowledgeable in many medical aspects of labor and delivery. As such, they can help their clients gain a better understanding of the procedures and possible complications in late pregnancy or delivery."