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New Year’s Surprise

Posted on February 18, 2020

First Baby of New Year Brings Joy to LeConte Medical Center

The first baby born at LeConte Medical Center in 2020 was welcomed into the world on Jan. 1 to parents Ashli Jones and Tyler Matthews. Baby boy Asher Knox Matthews weighed 6 pounds and 11 ounces. Now at home with their son, the new parents can rest assured that their New Year’s surprise will be a story they won’t soon forget.

On Dec. 31, Ashli Jones woke up experiencing chest pains. A little uneasy, Jones called her doctor, who advised her to drive to the hospital.

Her feet were swollen and her blood pressure was extremely high, which was causing the chest pain. Luckily, she was being treated at LeConte Medical Center’s Dolly Parton Birthing Unit. She was admitted on New Year’s Eve and labor was induced. A few minutes after 9 a.m. on New Year’s Day, Jones held her baby boy in her arms.

Best-Laid Plans

Although her original due date was Jan. 18, Jones and her medical team had chosen Jan. 4 as her induction date because of a diagnosis of preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure that can be dangerous for both mom and baby.

Once Jones arrived at the hospital, obstetrician James Koerten, MD, and the LeConte Medical Center team watched Jones carefully for 24 hours to ensure her swelling and other symptoms did not worsen. Dr. Koerten induced labor on the afternoon of Dec. 31.

“She progressed well; her lungs were clear. It was not an emergency, so a C-section was not necessary. She had time to labor,” Dr. Koerten says. “She did great.”

When asked about signs of preeclampsia and other risk factors, Dr. Koerten encouraged women who are pregnant or who are thinking about becoming pregnant to have good nutrition.

The Best Care Possible

The new family lives in Talbott, about 40 minutes from LeConte Medical Center. Jones says she chose to have her baby at LeConte Medical Center and the Dolly Parton Birthing Unit because it was somewhere she could trust.

Jones was pleased with the care she received at LeConte Medical Center and would recommend having a baby there to anyone. “The nurses there were amazing,” she says. “They didn’t hesitate to bring me anything I needed. Everyone was super kind and I felt well taken care of.”

Though these first time parents were given a scare and a startle, their bundle will be well remembered by hospital staff and community members alike. Welcome, baby Asher!

BEST for Babies

LeConte Medical Center is one of four Covenant Health hospitals to be awarded a 2019 “BEST for Babies” designation by the Tennessee Department of Health for providing excellent care and using best practices for their youngest patients.

LeConte is one of 18 hospitals in the state to receive the award for its efforts to reduce infant deaths and improve the health of newborns. Hospitals receiving the designation have successfully increased breastfeeding initiation rates, reduced early elective deliveries and promoted healthy sleep practices for babies.