Venezia by PVII

Dr. Judy HopkinsonJudy Hopkinson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Baylor College of Medicine

Physiology of Human Lactation

The goal of my research is to characterize physiological, behavioral, and nutritional factors associated with lactation performance.   

Outcome measures for recently initiated community intervention studies include duration of lactation, prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding, and infant health.  Outcome measures for physiological studies include maternal milk production and composition, changes in maternal bone and body composition during and after lactation, and infant growth and development. Each of these are considered in relation to energy expenditure and energy requirements in concert with our larger research team. 

My current research can be divided into two areas: 1) variations in bone density, body composition, and energy balance during and after lactation in relation to milk production, maternal dietary calcium, physical activity, and duration of postpartum amenorrhea. 2) Impact of community based interventions on breastfeeding behavior of low-income minority women.

In addition, I work cooperatively with other organizations to enhance the knowledge and skills of maternal and child health professionals in the area of lactation management. For example, I helped develop and currently instruct the "Intensive Course in Breastfeeding" workshops offered by the Texas Department of Health and produced a self-study module on lactation management for premature infants for the International Lactation Consultants' Association.

As a member of the CNRC's Nutrition Information Service (NIS), I serve as a local and national resource for health-care professionals, and I work with members of the media who are interested in the latest research on lactation as well as general breastfeeding information. 

Professional service roles include the editorial review board of the Journal of Human Lactation, the Health Advisory Board for La Leche League International, and co-chair of the Harris County Breastfeeding Coalition.

Representative publications:

Butte NF, Ellis KJ, Wong WW, Hopkinson JM, Smith EO. Composition of gestational weight gain impacts maternal fat retention and infant birth weight. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 189(5):1423-1432, 2003.

Hopkinson J. Is it possible for a breastfed baby to be overweight? J Hum Lact. 19(2):189-190, 2003.

Butte NF, Treuth MS, Mehta NR, Wong WW, Hopkinson JM, Smith EO. Energy requirements of women of reproductive age. Am J Clin Nutr. 77(3):630-638, 2003.

Butte NF, Wong WW, Hopkinson JM. Energy Requirements of Lactating Women Derived from Doubly Labeled Water and Milk Energy Output. J. Nutr. 131: 53-58, 2001.

Hopkinson JM, Butte NF, Ellis K, Smith EO. Lactation delays postpartum bone mineral accretion and temporarily alters its regional distribution in women. J Nutr. Apr; 130(4):777-783, 2000.

N Butte, C Heinz, J Hopkinson, W Wong, R Shypailo, K Ellis. Fat mass in infants and toddlers: Comparability of total body water, total body potassium, total body electrical conductivity, and dualenergy Xray absorptiometry. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 29 (2):184189, 1999.

Hopkinson JM, Butte NF, Ellis KJ, Wong WW, Puyau MR, Smith EO. Body fat estimation in late pregnancy and early postpartum: Comparison of 2-, 3- and 4-component models. Am J Clin Nutr, 65:432-8, 1997.

Butte NF, Hopkinson JM, Ellis KJ, Wong WW, Smith EO. Changes in fat free mass and fat mass in postpartum women: a comparison of body composition models. International Journal of Obesity, 21, 874-880, 1997.

Baker SS, Hopkinson JM, Overfield ML, Tully MR, Valois RS. In-Home Breastfeeding Support Program: A Guide for Training Breastfeeding Counselors. North Carolina State University. 1997.

Hopkinson J, James K and Zimmer JP. Management of Breast-feeding in: Tsang RC, Zlotkin SH, Nichols BL, and Hansen JW (eds). Nutrition During Infancy: Principles and Practice (second edition) Digital Educational Publishing, Inc, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1997

Butte NF, Hopkinson JM and Nicolson MA. Leptin in human reproduction: serum leptin levels in pregnant and lactating women. J Clin Endocrinol and Metab, 82:585-589, 1997.

Hopkinson J. Anatomy and Physiology of the Human Breast. In: J Rourke (ed). Intensive Course in Breastfeeding . Texas Department of Health. 1996.

Hopkinson J, Schanler RJ and Garza C. Milk production by mothers of premature infants. Pediatrics, 81:815-20, 1988.

Garza C and Hopkinson J. Human milk synthesis and secretion. In: Grand R, Sutphen JL, eds. Pediatric nutrition: theory and practice. Woburn:Butterworths Inc. 279-92, 1987.

Faculty Web Pages