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Unborn baby's fingernail nearly kills mother

Born five weeks premature, twins Amelie and Ava only just made it into this world after being resuscitated with oxygen.

But they're not the only ones who are lucky to be alive.

Their mother Angela Cottam almost died after a suspected fingernail or hair from one of them passed into her bloodstream during their birth.

The rare condition, which affects only one in 80,000 births, caused 32-year-old Cottam to suffer severe internal bleeding and her lungs collapsed.

The primary school teacher lost seven pints of blood, needed 22 transfusions and spent 12 hours in a coma, when her family were told she might not pull through.

"I feel so lucky to be here and really blessed that both the girls are with us because it could have been so different," said Cottam, 33.

"There are moments when I've been on my own, and I've had a little cry and thought 'What if?' But I try not to dwell on that and just thank my lucky stars the doctors and midwives on duty that day recognized what was happening."

Click here for more on this story from news.com.au.