Abstract The early postnatal period can be challenging for new fathers especially when their partner has experienced a caesarean section. The aim of this study was to describe men’s perceptions and feelings of staying with their partner and new baby in the context of having experienced a surgical birth. Thematic analysis was employed to analyse telephone interviews collected from 21 Swedish fathers who had experienced elective or emergency caesarean section. Being involved, receiving support and providing support were main reasons men considered it important they be facilitated to stay with their partners. Postnatal care should be oriented towards the whole family.