Hope was born through caesarean section and given an emergency blood transfusionReuters

A "ghost baby" in California has been born with a rare condition that means she has virtually no blood in her body.

Hope Juarez was born in California and appeared ghostly white. When doctors came to take blood from her, they could barely get a drop, KABC TV reports.

Before she was born, Hope's blood had drained from her body, and she had lost around 80% of it.

Josh Juarez, her father, told the news channel: "She was crying and they brought her over to us and she was really pale. I knew that something was really wrong when they started pricking at her feet trying to get blood to come out and there was no blood coming out."

Her doctor, Marielle Nguyen, from the Irvine Medical Centre, said: "She probably lost about 80% or more. She was pale. She was really white."

Hope was born through caesarean section and had to have an emergency blood transfusion to save her life.

She had suffered from foetal-maternal haemorrhage, an extremely rare condition with only one other case recorded – in 2012, a baby was born in the UK having suffered the same condition.

"She asked me, 'Well what's your gut feeling?' And I said, 'I don't know. I just feel like something's off. Something's not right."

Jennifer Juarez

Most pregnancies result in slight loss of foetal blood, but very rarely to such an extent. It is also very uncommon for babies to survive.

In both the UK and US cases, the mothers had noticed their babies had stopped kicking.

Jennifer Juarez said: "She would kick around 10 times within half an hour, which is a lot."

Three weeks before her due date, Hope stopped kicking and she went to see her midwife: "She asked me, 'Well what's your gut feeling?' And I said, 'I don't know. I just feel like something's off. Something's not right."

Doctors believe Hope's life was saved because her mother sought medical attention following the change in kicking habits. They believe had she waited just a few hours, her baby would not have survived.

"We don't know what causes it. A lot of it is just happens spontaneously. Sometimes the cause could be a motor vehicle accident, trauma, or where we have placental rupture, where the placenta suddenly just comes off the uterine wall," Nguyen said.