Respect for you, your plans and choices, and for the birth process.

Allison Blackham, Founder of Mariposa Birth and Wellness

Allison Blackham, LM CPM

Director, Midwife

Allison Blackham is a Licensed Midwife and nurse with over 30 years of experience working with women and  families.  She has been a doula, childbirth educator and birth photographer since 1985. Her nursing practice covered the entire lifespan from pediatrics to end of life care. She attended Brigham Young University and the National Midwifery Institute. She studied internationally with the midwives of Shiphrah Bahay Paanakan, a free birth center in the Philippines.  

Allison believes in supporting the wellbeing of whole woman, mind, body and spirit. She advocates for wholeness through dignified, excellent maternal healthcare, empowering education and mutual friendship.  Allison has been married for nearly 40 years to the amazing Ray Blackham, and they have 9 children and 16 grandchildren through birth and adoption. She is a member of the North American Midwives Alliance, the California Association of Licensed Midwives, and the Nevada County Midwives Collective.

Cindy Foxfoot, Mariposa

Cindy Foxfoot, LM CPM


Cindy Foxfoot is a Licensed Midwife who has been attending births for 25 years.  She has attended over 750 births and feels honored to being serving families as a community midwife. Her passion comes from seeing mothers and families transform and from bringing babies into the world with peace and grace.

Cindy graduated from UC Davis in 1992 and began her midwifery apprenticeship in 1993 and has been attending births ever since then. She interned at a busy birth clinic, Casa de Naciemiento, in El Paso, Texas, completed the Seattle Midwifery Challenge exams and received her license for the California Medical Board in 2001.

Her 2 daughters, Iris and Skyla, were born at home. She is an avid gardener, loves to hike and bike, practices yoga regularly and travels much to keep up with her daughters.

Leah Paperno, Mariposa

Leah Paperno, LM CPM


Leah is a Certified Professional Midwife whose passion and life’s work is to bring excellent, accessible midwifery care to all who desire it. Leah provides supportive and empowering care to each woman and family every step of their journey, from early pregnancy and birth to the incredible transition into parenthood. Through compassionate, skilled and thorough midwifery care, a relationship of trust and confidence becomes the cornerstone of the child-bearing and child-birthing experience.

It was through Leah’s intense and full immersion training at one of the country’s busiest birth centers in the borderland of El Paso, TX and Juarez, MX, that her deep love of and fierce commitment to the power and importance of natural birth and the midwifery model of care was born. Leah completed her rigorous training at Maternidad La Luz and continued to deepen her understanding and experience by working at the clinic as a resident midwife, taking on the responsibility of training other midwifery students and running the busy daily (and nightly) operations of the clinic. In her time there, Leah attended over 340 births, the vast majority of which were under her direct supervision.

Upon completion of her training, Leah became pregnant with her first son and the journey continued. The experience of pregnancy, birth and new motherhood only emboldened her drive to provide women and families with a model of midwifery care that nourishes their relationship with themselves and their growing families. Leah’s belief in the healing power of true connection and community support is at the root of her care as a midwife and her desire, skill and passion in being with women and families through this pivotal and tender time.

Leah is thrilled to be a part of the team of midwives at Mariposa Birth and Wellness and honored to serve the woman and families of these stunning Sierra foothills she is so blessed to call her home.

Dania Shelton, Mariposa

Dania Shelton, LM CPM


Dania and her husband have five children; They had four home births with midwives, and one hospital birth. She has also been privileged to be the midwife for the births of her  3 grandchildren. They are  5,3,and 2 years old. She is passionate about home birth and believes it to be the ideal setting for a low risk birth. The truth is she is a birth GEEK!

Her training was in the apprenticeship model, which consists of working with a practicing midwife, assisting  in all aspects of her practice.  Dania also completed a MEAC (Midwifery Education Accreditation Council) accredited school, the National Midwifery Institute (NMI). Through NMI she completed the necessary academic study which complements the practical training of midwifery. She also trained at a high volume birth center, Casa De Nacimiento, in El Paso,Texas. She has attended 280+ births thus far. She is licensed by the State of California Medical Board,( LM) as well as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) from  from NARM, North Atlantic Registery of Midwives, which is  a national certification. Dania is actively involved with CAM (the California Association of Midwives) and CALM (California Association of Licenced Midwives), serving as a regional representative, annual conference planner and host, and as a member of the MediCal Task Force, working to make out of hospital midwifery care available to low income families.