There was a recent post in the Facebook group Jewish Women Talk About Intimacy, where a new bride was preparing mentally for her first time at the mikveh. She asked in the group: “What is something you wish someone had told you about the mikveh before you went for the first time? And what tips would you give a bride for her to have a positive and meaningful experience?” We have read through the over 50 responses and chose what we felt were the 10 most important tips (in no particular order). We hope that these tips can help more women going to the mikveh for the first time. Even if you’ve been going to the mikveh for years, you might find some of these tips new and helpful.

Have some of your own tips? Please comment below!

1. When you are in the water give yourself some time to daven/talk to Hashem. It’s a nice moment for you to daven for a beautiful home together with your husband. With each dunk try to think of a different person or thing that you are praying for in that dunk. Think/yearn/pray in your own words for who you’d like to be and what you’d like to build in the next month.

2. There’s no right or wrong way to feel about mikveh. However you end up feeling about it, don’t feel guilty about how you feel. Although it’s nice that some women really connect with the mitzvah, a lot of taharat hamishpacha can be a hassle at times. Spiritual status and feelings/moods are not the same thing. If you don’t feel spiritually moved, or emotionally uplifted your dip is still completely kosher.

3. When going for the first time if your mom / someone is coming with you, have them stand outside the door with it a crack open so they can say amen to your bracha. Or have friends wait outside to welcome you when you come out.

4. The mikveh attendants are there to help you. If you don’t ask, then they don’t know. If something is worrying you or bothering you, just talk to the attendant. They are always here to help you.

5. You do your best. That is all that is expected of you. Don’t stress about perfection. For example, if you have dry skin, then do your best to soften and remove it – but don’t hurt yourself trying to achieve perfection, that is not what’s required. Also, when you floss and brush your teeth, but you’re not sure you got everything, that’s ok, you did your best! It is good to have a checklist to follow, but don’t overthink it.

6. You don’t need to face the mikveh attendant. The mikveh attendant is not really looking at you. They are just making sure that your hair goes under and that your dip is kosher. It can help to wet your hair once you are in the mikveh before you dunk, so that your hair won’t float up and your dip will be kosher.

7. Take it easy. The prep can be very overwhelming in the beginning. So many things to think about and areas to check. Start preparing in advance as much as you can, things like shaving, eyebrows, nails, scrubbing etc do the day before. So on mikveh night you can just enjoy the bath and need only to do a basic check of your body.

8. Having a mikveh bag with all the things you need for preparing: tweezers, q tips, nail cutter, make up remover, toothbrush and paste, nail file, hair brush, robe, towel, even slippers. This ensures that the prep and immersing in the mikveh go smoothly.

9. Go when you’re relaxed. Try to book an appointment at the mikveh when it is quieter. Some mikvaot have special appointment times for kallot, as well as nicer rooms for the kallot to get ready in.

10. Always try to enjoy your prep time. This is time just for you. Spend extra money pampering yourself for the preparation. You can buy a bath bomb and use a nice skin scrub that you only use on mikveh night. It can make the ritual special.