Advances in perinatal mental health research have provided valuable insights around risk factors for the overall development of maternal distress. However, there is still a limited understanding of the experience of women struggling emotionally during pregnancy. We explored how women view, experience, and interpret psychological distress antenatally. Eighteen Australian women participated in in-depth interviews that were analyzed thematically within a critical realist theoretical framework. We present and situate the current findings within the dominant discourse of the good mother, which arguably promotes guilt and stigma and results in women self-labeling as bad mothers.